Staying safe is the top job in ag
MERRIFIELD, N.D. -- Don Rudnik realizes the importance of farm safety. But should he ever question its value, he only needs to look at one his fingers, part of which was sliced off years ago in a farm accident.
MERRIFIELD, N.D. - Don Rudnik realizes the importance of farm safety. But should he ever question its value, he only needs to look at one his fingers, part of which was sliced off years ago in a farm accident.
"Safety isn't something we can take for granted. We always need to remember it," says Rudnick, a Minto N.D., producer who began farming in 1961.
Rudnik was among the roughly 50 farmers, both young and old, who attended the annual Grand Forks (N.D.) County Farm Bureau and Traill County (N.D.) Farm Bureau safety meeting on the morning of March 23 in the Drees Farming Association shop in Merrifield, N.D.
• Jason Uhlir of Minnkota Power Cooperative, who talked about managing safety on the farm.
• Carey Haugen, a nurse, who spoke on drugs, alcohol, testing and safety on the farm.
• North Dakota Highway Patrol Troopers Tracy Buzick and Chris Schafer, who talked about safety on the roads.
After the morning meeting, an optional three-hour first aid training session was held.
In addition to the morning presentations, the event gave farmers a chance to share stories about safety mishaps and near mishaps they've had through the years, reinforcing the importance of safety, Rudnik said.
Organizers say the annual late-March event is especially timely because spring planting will begin soon.
Planting brings stress and long days that can lead farmers into safety-related mistakes they otherwise would avoid, Rudnik said.
Agriculture is considered to be one of the nation's riskiest occupations, with an average of 243 ag workers injured daily in 2009, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The American Society of Safety Engineers offers several farm safety tips and suggestions online at " target="_blank">www.asse.org/newsroom/safetytips/farm-safety-tips/.