Agricultural work can be very beneficial for youth, providing opportunities to develop skills and gain appreciation for the land. But the farm worksite is also hazardous. Every 3 days in the United States, a youth dies in an agricultural incident. For youth younger than 16 working in agriculture, the number of fatal injuries is consistently higher than all other industries combined.
Join the AgriSafe Network Webinar, "Children and Youth: Living, working and playing safely on farms," noon-1 p.m. (CT), Wednesday, Sept. 20. The webinar will focus on the National Farm Safety and Health Week theme of “Putting Farm Safety into Practice,” and features the newly released Agricultural Youth Work Guidelines. These guidelines can help parents and supervisors assign age-appropriate tasks to youth. The webinar is free but attendees must register at http://www.agrisafe.org/live-webinars.
“Too many injuries and deaths are associated with youth performing agricultural work that does not match their development level/abilities,” said presenter Marsha Salzwedel, M.S., Youth Agricultural Safety Specialist with the National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety, Marshfield Clinic Research Institute, Marshfield, Wis. “These guidelines help parents and supervisors determine if a youth is able to safely perform various farm tasks.”
The National Children’s Center developed the guidelines with a coalition of farm and ranch parents, and agricultural organizations. The first 20 guidelines are available at https://cultivatesafety.org/work/. An additional 30 guidelines are scheduled to be added in spring 2018. The updated and interactive Agricultural Youth Work Guidelines are based on the latest scientific research, including child growth and development, agricultural practices, child injury prevention and agricultural safety. Funding is provided by CHS Foundation and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
In addition to discussing youth at work, Salzwedel will share strategies to keep non-working children and visitors to farms and ranches safe.
“We need to make the agricultural worksite and home safer for all children, whether they live, work or play on these farms and ranches,” says Salzwedel. “At the end of the day, we want these children to grow up happy, healthy and whole.”