At the 2013 Farm Progress Show in Decatur, IL, Country Financial, the largest auto and home insurer in Illinois, was busy handing out flyers on some basic facts:
FACT: Two out of every five agricultural work deaths involve tractors.
FACT: Power takeoffs (PTOs) cause the most farm injuries leading to amputation.
Each year the company issues a report based on Illinois Press Association clippings about farm deaths, in conjunction with the National Farm Safety and Health Week, which is this week. This year’s finding showed the following:
On the upside, the number of farm-related deaths is the lowest it has been in 35 years, ever since Country Financial has been keeping records. Here’s a link to a quick safety checklist to reduce these numbers even further.
If you need some help in safeguarding your farm, ask a safety consultant to come out for a visit. Some states provide on-farm assessments and will help you modify your equipment. Our state, Minnesota, has a statewide community-based organization called EquipALife, which is a partner of Minnesota AgrAbility Project, which offers assistive technology, and the University of Minnesota Extension Service.