President Donald Trump issued a proclamation Sept. 13 recognizing National Farm Safety and Health Week, Sept. 15-21.
The third week of September has been recognized as National Farm Safety and Health Week since 1944. The annual promotion is initiated by the National Safety Council and has been proclaimed as such by each president since Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the first proclamation.
The theme for 2019 National Farm Safety and Health Week is “Shift Farm Safety into High Gear.” Webinars on farm safety are planned each day of farm safety week.
According to the Upper Midwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center, tractors are a leading cause of farm deaths. It is offering a tractor safety checklist.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data show the agricultural sector is the most dangerous occupation in the United States, with 581 fatalities in 2017, which equals 23 deaths per 100,000 workers.
“This week, we pledge to strive to improve practices that advance the health and safety of self-employed farm and ranch operators, their family members, and their hired workers,” the presidential proclamation reads. “By raising awareness of the inherent risks associated with agricultural work, we can help sustain the success of this critical American industry. As American farmers and American consumers, we will work together to enhance the livelihoods of our farmers, ranchers, and foresters, because we know that when our farmers succeed, our nation succeeds.”
“America’s farmers, ranchers and producers work hard to feed our nation and the world,” said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue in a media statement. “Farming is not always the safest profession and it is our responsibility to continue to improve workplace safety and pursue initiatives that create healthier work environments. They must also have access to innovative technologies and production practices to protect themselves and their employees.”