Click to hear KMZU’s Kristie Cross speak with Director of the National Education Center for Ag Safety Dan Neenan:

Dan Neenan

National Farm Safety and Health Week kicks off today.  Neenan talks about the importance of staying focused on safety, especially during planting and harvesting seasons.  “The statistics have just come out for 2013,” said Neenan, “There were 479 fatalities and that averages out to be 22.2 deaths per 100,000 workers.  This again makes agriculture the most dangerous industry in the United States.  If we take a look at it, the tractor is the number one cause  of injuries and fatalities.”

Neenan says this year’s theme is “Safety Counts, Protecting What Matters” and that Monday’s focus is on roadways.  “One of the key messages we want to put out there for farmers is that a lot of the newer equipment have the rollover protection structures and the enclosed cabs,” said Neenan, “That’s great and much safer than the older tractors, but the important thing you need to do to keep yourself safe is to make sure you’re putting your seat belt on in the cab of that tractor or combine because, if it gets hit, you’re going to get thrown out of the seat.”

Neenan also reminds drivers that, as farmers begin harvesting their crops, we will see more equipment out on the roadways.  Please use caution and only pass only when it’s safe to do so.

The full schedule for the week:

Monday – Raodways

Tuesday – Health

Wednesday – Children’s Day

Thursday – Confined spaces

Friday – Tractors

More information can be found by visiting the National Education Center for Agriculture Safety website.