Everyone has a job this harvest season Ė itís keeping safety in mind. Thatís the message from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) as many farmers across Minnesota gear up for fall harvest. In observance of National Farm Safety and Health Week, September 18-24, MDA is offering tips and advice to ensure all Minnesotans are safe, whether harvesting fields or encountering farm equipment on roadways.
According to federal and state statistics, farming is one of the most dangerous professions. Last year 23 of the 69 work-related deaths in the state were in the ag industry, according to data from the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry.
Roadways may be just as dangerous for producers and non-farmers alike, as equipment is transported and grain is hauled from fields. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety reported more than 182,000 people were involved in crashes in the state in 2010. Of those in a crash, 121 were involved in an accident with a tractor or other farm equipment. Those crashes resulted in 19 injuries and two deaths.
MDA is highlighting a wide range of farm safety topics this season, including road safety, child safety on the farm, mental health resources, proper livestock and grain handling, and guidelines for reducing physical stress.
Safety tips will be available on MDAís website at www.mda.state.mn.us/news/events/farmsafetyweek.aspx, Facebook page at www.facebook.com/mnagriculture, and Twitter feed at www.twitter.com/mnagriculture.