Farm safety: Not just for farmers

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Farm safety may seem like something only teens who live on farms need to know about. The truth is that everyone can benefit from learning about farm safety, even people who are merely visiting farms. Farming is a common form of employment, providing summer jobs for lots of teens all over the country.

Farm machinery, animals, chemicals and storage areas are things some teens ordinarily might not encounter -- and they can pose a serious risk to people who don't know how to protect themselves.

Nearly 2 million kids work and live on farms in the United States. As many as 22,000 are seriously injured, and about 100 kids and teens die each year due to farm-related injuries. In fact, farm jobs have the highest rate of fatalities and injuries of all types of teen employment, which isn't surprising given that agriculture is considered to be among the most hazardous industries in the United States. Although the majority of accidents happen to people who live on farms, a significant number of injuries or deaths have occurred to kids and teens who either work on or visit farms.

But it's not all doom and gloom: With appropriate education and safety precautions, farm-related injuries and deaths can be prevented -- and teens can enjoy all the positive experiences that farms have to offer.