See the highlights from a Q&A on Farm Safety with UF/IFAS assistant professor of agricultural and biological engineering, Serap Gorucu.

Agriculture is one of the most dangerous industries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 18,750 nonfatal injuries in 2020 in agriculture, forestry, and fishing combined. Thats an increase of over 2,000 injuries from 2010 numbers. Serap Gorucu, an assistant professor of agricultural and biological engineering with UF/IFAS,

co-authored a UF/IFAS document on Farm Safety. In honor of National Farm Safety and Health Week, UF/IFAS published a blog with a Q&A with Gorucu. See the highlights below.

Farm Safety Q&A

Q: “What are the most common injuries in the agricultural sector and why?”

A: “Almost half of agricultural fatalities result from vehicle-related incidents. Agricultural vehicles on work sites and roads create risks for the operators, employees working nearby and occupants of other vehicles who share the road…”

Q: “What are the most dangerous aspects of working on a farm and why?”

A: “Working in the agricultural sector can be hazardous for several reasons:

If you’re a farmer, your workplace is often your home, with machines and other worksite hazards practically everywhere…

You’re working outside, sometimes under extreme weather conditions. Outdoor workers are exposed to many environmental conditions…

Young children and aging people often work on farms. Even if they’re not working at the farm, children could be at risk merely by being present. In the United States, a child dies in an agricultural-related incident about every three days. Almost two-thirds of these fatalities are children who are not working but might be a bystander or a passenger in an agricultural vehicle…”

Q: “Why should workplace safety be important to farmers, farm managers and farmworkers?

A: “In agriculture, farmers must complete certain tasks in a timely manner. An unexpected injury to an employee can affect the completion of the work. So, improving safety affects productivity and also the quality of work…”

Q: “What are a few suggestions to make the agricultural sector a safer place to work?”

A: “Employers should provide periodic agricultural safety and health trainings…It is also important to keep equipment and vehicles well maintained and inspect them before operating…Finally, OSHA provides standards and recommendations for such areas as guarding farm field equipment, protecting against rollover accidents and for avoiding heat exposure…”

Find the complete Q&A here.

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