Farms are a wonderful place for children to live, work and play. However, agriculture is also one of the most dangerous occupations in the US. Statically a child dies in an agricultural related incident about every 3 days and 33 children are seriously injured every day. These numbers are not acceptable.
Scott Heiberger, Health Communication Manager at the National Farm Medicine Center, shared with us the top three causes of injuries and fatalities, safety prevention strategies and resources to learn more.
Top 3 Causes of Ag related injuries or deaths
Top Causes of Fatal Ag Injuries
- Motor Vehicles (includes ATVs)
Top Causes of Non- Fatal Ag Injuries
Two pieces of the data really stood out: tractors cause 40 percent of accidental farm deaths of children under 15; and more than half of young children injured on the farm (ages 10 and under) were not engaged in work at the time of the injury – they were merely bystanders or playing in the hazardous agricultural work site.
Prevent Ag related accidents with these Safety Strategies
Use these 4 simple strategies to avoid an injury on the farm…
- Make sure your children are old enough for the work they are doing. Keep kids away from tractors until they are 14. Ask them these 12 questions before they drive a tractor. Also, make sure you know where your children are at all times, even when you are just mowing the grass.
- Make safety your business (like us)! Ensure the work environment is as safe as possible. Working with a safety expert can help you put a plan in place to make sure your farm is safe and your employees are trained properly. Reach out to an agent for more information.
- Stay up to date. Subscribe to a safety newsletter, use the resources below, check out our farm safety learning center... Whatever you do, make sure you keep safety top of mind. Get in the routine of checking safety lists on a regular basis, like this one.
- Thinking of agritourism? Take a extra look at every inch of your farm. It is the responsibility of the farm owner to control hazards that may risk the health and safety of children and other guests.
Find more information regarding your children’s safety. Here are our top tips for ensuring kid and teen safety on the farm.
Injury Prevention Resources
Whether the children on your farm are working, playing or visiting, the National Children’s Center has resources to help keep them safe, including:
- Agricultural Youth Work Guidelines: Guidelines to help farm parents and supervisors assign tasks based on worker ability
- Safe Play: Creating safe play areas on farms on the farm is important. Also consider play area “upgrades” like turning your corn box into a sand box.
- Integrating Safety into Agritourism: Agritourism resources, guidelines, checklists and signs available
- Ag Injury News: Allows users to search for injury reports using variable such as age, injury agent, year and more. Resources for preventing similar injuries are linked to the reports.
- Childhood Agricultural Safety Network: Shares information and resources from a coalition of organizations working to keep children safe on farms
Farming traditions run deep in the state of Wisconsin and farm safety is a priority for farmers. As the #1 Farm Insurance in Wisconsin, Rural Mutual has been protecting farms across the state for over 85 years. We also believe in protecting the families and children in our farming communities.