Agriculture is among our most hazardous industries, with a work-related death rate of 23 deaths per 100,000 workers annually, according to the most recent numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, far ahead of transportation (15.1/100,000) and mining (12.9/100,000). In addition, mental health issues and high rates of farmer suicide have been shaking up rural America and garnering recent attention in the media.

Agricultural producers are tough, intelligent and resourceful! For decades, farmers have turned to the U.S. Ag Centers for information on how to stay safe and healthy while providing food and fiber for our country. Whether you are a fifth generation farmer or new to the field, there is something for you on the U.S. Agricultural Centers’ YouTube channel. Educators, employers, extension agents, trade association leaders and other industry stakeholders will also find helpful and entertaining videos to “Shift Farm Safety into High Gear” – the theme for this year’s National Farm Safety and Health Week, Sept. 15-21.

The 11 U.S. Agricultural Centers, funded by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), have produced safety and health videos related to agriculture, forestry and fishing. The videos, many in both English and Spanish, can be used informally or integrated into a formal training program to keep people safe and healthy as they work or visit agricultural sites. Popular topics include grain bin entry procedures, pesticide safety, chainsaw operation, dairy cattle safety and tractor rollover prevention.

NIOSH joins the Ag Centers in recognizing National Farm Safety and Health Week as an opportunity to emphasize the importance of working together to prevent injuries and illnesses among agricultural workers. Additional information and resources for the Week are available through the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety or contact the Ellis County office of Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Office at 972-825-5175 or 701 S. Interstate 35E, Waxahachie.

Mark Arnold is the AgriLife Extension agent and county coordinator for Ellis County. Contact him at 972-825-5175 or wmarnold@ag.tamu.edu.

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