Farming and ranching are among North Dakota’s most dangerous occupations. Just ask Emmons County farmer/ rancher Doug Bichler.
“A farm-related accident can happen in an instant,” he says. “Often, that one decision will change the course of a life forever. This was the case for me. One simple, ill-thought choice led to the amputation of my right arm.”
A team of Extension specialists and agents has developed numerous resources to encourage farmers and ranchers to think before they act. These resources include videos on anhydrous ammonia, proper pesticide storage and transportation, proper pesticide mixing and handling, handling farm chemicals, electrical safety on the farm, grain bin safety, all-terrain vehicle safety, and tractor and other equipment safety.
The team also has developed publications such as “Anhydrous Ammonia: Managing The Risks,” “Caught in the Grain” and “Chain Saw Safety: No Tricks.”
“Anhydrous ammonia has the potential to be one of the most dangerous chemicals used in agriculture today,” says team member Rick Schmidt, Extension’s agriculture and natural resources agent in Oliver County.
Getting caught in grain or conveyors is another major farm hazard. Several North Dakotans die from it each year.
“People who work with grain – loading it, unloading it and moving it from bin to bin – need to know about the hazards of flowing grain and how to prevent a grain entrapment situation,” says Ken Hellevang, a team member and Extension agricultural engineer.
NDSU Extension farm safety resources also include information on dealing with COVID-19 such as:
- Cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces in vehicles and farm equipment
- Physical distancing
- Which mask to use
The team has developed two window clings/stickers that farmers can post in their farm vehicles and equipment. One window cling contains the 11 hand signals used in agriculture. The other notes the items that should be cleaned and disinfected and the proper way to do that.
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