New online resource offers farm safety and health information

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A new farm-related educational resource that offers answers to hundreds of farm safety and health questions with information from land grant universities is now available through eXtension.

eXtension (pronounced E-extension) is a national internet-based educational network and partnership of 74 universities that provides online access to objective, research-based information and education. The new section is called “Community of Practice, Farm and Ranch eXtension for Safety and Health,” or FReSH.

FReSH, found at http://www.extension.org/farm_safety_and_health , offers answers and tips on issues ranging from grain bin entrapments to safe beef cattle handling, said Dee Jepsen, Ohio State University Extension's state safety leader.

“This online resource will serve many groups, including educators, injury outreach specialists and farm workers, with valuable information that can be accessed anytime,” she said. “And in an agricultural community where business is done all day, every day, there is never a down time for safety and health information.”

In addition to providing answers to frequently asked farm safety questions, the site also contains articles on a variety of safety and health topics, and a calendar of farm safety events.

“Agriculture is a dangerous industry,” Jepsen said. “This on-line resource is now available to serve hard-working men, women and families with up-to-date safety and health materials to protect the most valuable assets: the farm workers.”

Some of the articles that appear on the site include:

  • Safety recommendations when baling and handling big round bales.
  • Confined-space hazards and gas monitoring of manure pit gases.
  • Beef cattle handling safety.
  • ATV safety.
  • Hearing loss and protection for agricultural producers.
  • Grain bin entrapments from flowing grains.

“We are nearing our peak season for the frequency and severity of farm-related injuries,” Jepsen said. “This is great timing for eXtension to support the upcoming summer season with an ounce of prevention.”

Support for the farm safety and health content on the website comes from a team of educators, including Linda Fetzer, Dennis Murphy and Aaron Yoder of Pennsylvania State University; Richard Brozowski, University of Maine; Karen Funkenbusch, University of Missouri; Jepsen, Ohio State; Carol Jones, Oklahoma State University; Michael Pate, Utah State University; Charles Schwab, Iowa State University; and John Myers, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.



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