Shift Farm Safety into High Gear…each year since 1944, the third week of September has been recognized as National Farm Safety and Health Week. This annual promotion initiated by the National Safety Council has been proclaimed as such by each sitting U.S. President since Franklin D. Roosevelt. The development and dissemination of National Farm Safety and Health Week is led by the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS), the agricultural partner of the National Safety Council.
Even though there are over 130,000 people injured,fatally and non-fatally, in agriculture, not everyone is counted. Those not counted are people who were involved in incidents with agricultural machinery but not employed in agriculture. The most common location for the general public to become involved in incidents with agricultural machinery is on a public roadway. Thus the theme for this year’s National Farm Safety and Health Week focus on roadway safety: Shift Farm Safety into High Gear.
What do farmers need to know?
Farmers and ranchers need to remember that the general public does not often realize tractors and other agricultural machinery often cannot travel faster than 25 mph and have limited maneuverability. Farmers and ranchers should keep SMV emblems and extremity markings clean and bright. All lights need to be working properly and mirrors need to be kept clean and adjusted properly for the operator. Farmers and ranchers should use their mirrors to watch for motorists. When planning to make a left turn,look to see if someone is attempting to pass. If so,let them pass before starting the turn,if the turn is located in a designated passing zone.
What does the general public need to know?
The general public needs to know that tractors and other agricultural machinery often cannot travel faster than 25 mph. Limited speed vehicles are identified by a Slow-Moving Vehicle (SMV) emblem. The general public needs to realize that tractors towing long trailing or wide machines may need to move to the right before completing a left turn.
Therefore, look for unmarked field and other entrances where the tractor and/or machine may turn in before attempting to pass. Don’t assume the operator is waiting for the motorist to pass just because he/ she moves to the right. REMEMBER:Only pass if you are in a designated passing zone. Drive Defensively!
What does everyone need to know?
Sharing the road is everyone’s responsibility and being proactive about preventing incidents that could result in injury is just plain smart.
To learn more, visit https://www.agrisafe.org/nfshweek for resources or https://www.necasag.org/nationalfarmsafetyandhealthweek/