ATV Safety Checklist from UC Davis

Here is an ATV safety checklist that was published by UC Davis. ATVs are one of the most dangerous vehicles on farms, and many of the injuries and fatalities happen to children. Often, kids and teenagers are injured when they are riding for fun and not when they are doing farm work. They ride too fast on terrain where ATVs should not be used such as steep slopes and on roads. Using an ATV that is too big for the rider also causes problems because children do not have enough body mass to lean and balance out the weight of an adult-sized ATV. Smaller adults might also want to consider a smaller model.

Another thing that helps prevent ATV injuries is helmet use. It’s important that riders wear the correct size helmet, and that helmets are replaced if they experience even a small impact. You can also consider adding a roll bar. Like with tractors, many ATV fatalities happen when the vehicle rolls over on to the rider, and unlike tractor roll bars, many ATV roll bars can be installed at home.

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You can check out the original article here:

Celebrate the 4th Safely

I know a lot of us are trying to take advantage of the weather and will be working all day today, but just in case you or members of your family are able to take a break and celebrate I thought I’d post a few articles on some 4th of July safety topics.


Fireworks are probably one of the biggest hazards of the 4th. They can be a lot of fun, but they are basically small explosives so it’s important to handle them carefully. If you’re planning on including fireworks in your celebration, check out these safety tips from the national safety council.


Another common problem people encounter while celebrating the 4th is food borne illness. With hot temperatures and many people eating outside, it’s easy for perishable foods like potato salad or cream-based dips to go bad, plus with so many people involved in prep it can be hard to know if everything was prepared safely in the first place. Having a thermometer handy can be a big help since it can be hard to tell just by looking if foods are being kept at the proper temperature. Check out the article by Food Safety News for more tips!


A third major safety concern on the 4th is water. A lot of people use the time off to hit the pool, go to the beach, or even take a boat out on the water. Large crowds make being in the water even more hazardous than usual. Also, given how the weather has been lately be extra careful about water quality if you’re swimming in a natural body of water, especially if it’s a pond or creek at home that isn’t being tested. There have already been several people this year who have gotten seriously ill from bacteria and toxic algae in the water. Here is an extensive article by the Red Cross that sums up some of key tips for staying safe in the water. The second article is from Country Living and gives some advice on how to tell if a pond is safe for swimming.


Finally, a lot of the country is supposed to have temperatures in the 90’s today. While heat can be a problem throughout the summer, I think people have a tendency to ignore some of the signs of heat-related illness and don’t pay as much attention to using sunblock when they’re having fun. Here is a list of things from Love to Know to keep in mind when you’re spending time out in the sun:

Hope everyone gets to take at least a little bit of a break today and remember to celebrate safely!

Earn $50 by completing young worker supervisor training and survey

One of the professors I work with at the University of Iowa is looking for people to test a training program for people who train and supervise agricultural workers under the age of 21. Participants who complete the training a survey will earn $50, and if you complete a second survey 3 months later, you can earn another $50. The training and survey can be done online and take about an hour to complete. Over half of occupational fatalities involving people under the age of 21 are in ag. I haven’t seen exactly what is in the training program, but my guess is that it covers a lot of the material that our university ag safety courses cover on the safety risks to younger workers and strategies that can be used to help prevent younger workers from getting hurt on the farm. Here is the link to the study website if you would like to participate!

Video: Planting season road and kids safety

Found a video of an interview on the PAFSafetyDays chanel of a news interview that goes over planting safety. This video mostly covers road safety and kids safety. I remember being taught when I was little and taking food and water out to the field to not go near a tractor or piece of equipment until it was off and until the driver saw me and called me over. To this day I haven’t had a close call involving someone not seeing me while equipment is running so in my case at least it was effective training. Not all kids listen that well though, so keeping close supervision until kids are old enough hand have demonstrated themselves to be responsible enough to not break the rules when someone isn’t watching is essential. As for road safety, I’d like to add that making sure your slow moving vehicle signs and lights are in good order is an important step to take before planting starts. I have a lot of classmates who do driving research and time and time again they find that better signage, brighter lights, and more obvious turn signals reduce the chance of getting hit substantially at any time of day.

Youth horse safety courses from

I was researching horse safety and came across this website that offers free online horse safety courses for kids and teens. The courses cover a wide range of topics including machine safety, understanding horse behavior, safe riding techniques, and horse care guides. From what I’ve learned from our neighbors who have horses, keeping the horse happy and healthy is especially important if you want to keep people safe! The courses are designed mostly for teens and preteens who are either taking riding lessons or are considering getting a job at a boarding facility, but they could also be beneficial for anyone who is planning on being around horses and doesn’t have much experience with them.

Here is the link to the introductory webpage. If you want to take classes, you can click on the registration link to create an account (this lets you save your progress) and start taking courses.

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Event: Child Agricultural Injury Prevention Program

The Marshfield Clinic has just released locations and dates for their Child Agricultural Injury Prevention Program. There will be three in-person workshops in Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and Iowa.  The Pennsylvania event takes place in March while the other two will be over the summer. The program is aimed at farmers and local agricultural health groups and covers injury prevention strategies for working and non-working farm children. Each event is limited to about 60 participants, so if you’re interested be sure to sign up soon!

Click here for event information and registration

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Event: Kids Summer Farm Safety Programs

Progressive Agriculture (Formerly Farm Safety 4 Just Kids) has updated their event schedule for Summer and Fall 2018.  There are lots of dates and locations to choose from.  The programs can vary a little bit depending on the individual event, but in general they provide age-appropriate agricultural safety and health training and activities for preschool-high school aged kids.  I’ve provided a link to the page with the master schedule below, and you can click on the city names in the list to learn more about individual events.

Click here to see event list

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Upcoming Film Based on Illinois Grain Engulfment Case

An independent film company is working on a feature-length film about a grain engulfment that took place in 2010 in Mount Carroll Illinois.  Wyatt Whitebread, 14, and Alex Pacas, 19, died after becoming  engulfed in a corn bin while on the job.  A third victim Will Piper, 20, was rescued. The case led to major changes in regulations for bin entry and teenage employees in the grain industry. I was able to hear Annette Pacas, Alex’s mom, speak at a conference a few years ago.  Her presentation made a huge impression on me about how preventable these kinds of tragedies are and how much work is needed to improve safety in ag.

The film team has produced a 10 minute version of the film to promote the production of the feature length film. You can view the short version  here.  University of Kentucky’s Southeast Center for Agricultural Safety and Injury Prevention is also developing a study guide to go with the feature length film aimed at highschool level ag classes and FFA programs.

Click here to see the original article about the film by Illinois Farmer
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Grain Safety for Kids

Today I’m sharing some kid’s grain safety materials from the National Agricultural Safety Database. The materials include a background section for adults describing the risks of grain handling, a series of demos that can be used to show the dangers of grain handling, and puzzle activity pages that can be printed out.  (click here to see NASD’s grain safety for kids page).  Tragically up to 20% of farm fatalities are children (source).  While the most common sources of fatal injuries are falls/runnovers from tractors and ATVS and drowning, every year several children are killed due to grain entrapment, and many more have near-misses.  Kids are more likely to become entrapped in grain wagons than grain bins, and children visiting farms are at higher risk than children who live on farms.  If there are children living on or visiting your farm, make sure that they don’t have access to grain handling areas and equipment, and that they know it’s not safe to play in the grain.  The demo with the toy grain wagon listed on the website is really good at showing just how quickly you can become trapped. I found a video of the demo too, but it is definitely more impressive in person!