Bill Field investigates fatal farm-related accidents in his role as Purdue University Extension farm safety specialist. He's bothered by the fact that in some recent fatal accidents involving teenagers or young workers, the victim received zero training before going to work. In some cases the work was climbing in a grain bin with augers running!
Field and his staff are out to change that. They've developed the curriculum for a six-hour training course for potential young full- or part-time workers, and will present it at three locations across Indiana during the next three weeks.
The cost is free. "We're even offering incentives," Field says. "Every participant will get a hard hat and other safety personal protection equipment, plus a certificate if they complete the day-long course."
Field realizes it doesn't mean the students will know all they need to know, but he believes it's a step in the right direction.
"We're hoping some FFA advisers will bring several students and take advantage of this opportunity," he adds. "We will focus on the grain industry, but it's really geared to anyone who will be working in agriculture part-time or full-time in the near future."
The first meeting at Brock's Manufacturing in Milford was originally set for Sept. 20, but was moved to Sept. 30. The second training day is Oct. 2 at the Beck Educational Center at the Purdue Agronomic Research Center near West Lafayette. The final opportunity will be at the Indiana FFA Center on Oct. 16.
Training at each site will begin at 9.a.m. EDT and conclude at 3 p.m. Lunch will be provided. The event is co-sponsored by the Indiana Rural Safety and Health Council.
You can pre-register by contacting Steve Wettschurack, farm rescue instructor, at 765-714-4557, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Some help in travel expenses for FFA and vo-ag groups may be available through the Indiana Rural Safety and Health Council.