Media contact: Julia Storm, firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-515-7961
Sept. 21-27 is officially National Farm Safety & Health Week, but Certified Safe Farm offers North Carolina farmers in 18 counties the opportunity to learn ways to take steps every day toward on-farm safety and health.
“Farming is among the most dangerous occupations there are, with farmers at risk for serious injury, health concerns and even death,” says Julia Storm, Cooperative Extension agromedicine information specialist with N.C. State University’s Department of Applied Ecology. “And it’s not just farmers who are at risk. It’s their families and their farm workers.”
Farmers participating in the Certified Safe Farm program have access to voluntary, non-regulatory on-farm safety reviews conducted by Extension agriculture agents; occupational health and wellness services offered through AgriSafe-North Carolina; a cost-share program for making improvements; and a farm entrance recognition sign for those who successfully complete the program.
A partnership of N.C. State University, N.C. Cooperative Extension, and the N.C. Agromedicine Institute offers the program, with funding from the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission. Participating county Cooperative Extension centers are Alexander, Anson, Ashe, Craven, Franklin, Gates, Granville, Hoke, Randolph, Robeson, Rowan, Scotland, Stanly, Union, Vance, Warren, Watauga and Wilson.
Certified Safe Farm lowers farm costs, saves lives and improves health, Storm says, by helping farmers develop practical solutions to safety and health problems on the wide variety of agricultural crops and enterprises in North Carolina. Learn more by contacting your local agricultural Extension agent.
For farmers everywhere, the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety will feature webinar and online resources each day of National Farm Safety & Health Week. Topics include rural roadway safety, sun safety, occupational health services, children’s safety, grain bin safety and confined space entry, and safe tractors. Visit http://www.necasag.org/ for details.
Every day, about 167 agricultural workers suffer a work-related injury that causes them to lose time on the job, and 5 percent of these injuries cause permanent impairments, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Tractor overturns were the leading work-related cause of death for farmers and farm workers.
-D. Shore, 919-513-3117-