Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Be careful out there
Carolyn Sheridan, AgriSafe Network Clinical Director
In that old cop show, Hill Street Blues, the gruff old sergeant wraps up his morning briefing to the squad with a gentle reminder: “Be careful out there.”
The same caution should be given to farmers. Cheryl Tevis, farm issues editor for Successful Farming magazine has well documented the health and safety challenges in agriculture, including:
* The fatality rate in ag is more than ten times greater than that for all U.S. occupations.
* Fatal injuries for all U.S. workers has declined in recent years, but almost doubled for farmers.
* Farmers are high risk for fatal and nonfatal injuries involving farm equipment and are prone to certain cancers and other occupational health risks, like hearing loss and chronic and back pain.
Carolyn Sheridan, a nurse and clinical director of the AgriSafe Network, recently visited with me to talk about her work in helping farmers address these pressing health and safety issues.
The aging farm population is part of the problem. Older farmers are twice as likely to be involved in a fatal injury than are younger ones. It's more hazardous for older farmers to twist around equipment, lift stuff, and crawl under machinery.
But young farmers, too, need to be aware of issues like hearing loss and respiratory problems, she said. AgriSafe clinics are finding surprisingly high incidences of these problems cropping up among young people.
Some of the health problems faced by farmers are brought on by stress. The late harvest last fall, for example, created health and safety issues for a lot of farmers (and their spouses), due to all the added tension, she pointed out.
Carolyn is featured in a new set of videos on Agriculture.com, in which she talks about key safety issues—eye protection, hearing protection and chemical safety. Check them out for ideas on products and practices that could save your hearing, eyesight, and indeed your life.
Be careful out there.
Agriculture.com Rural Health
Good Health And Safety Make $en$e
Posted by John Walter at 7:53 AM