Ag professionals and researchers from across the country came together March 22-24 for the Agricultural Safety and Health Council of America’s (ASHCA) North American Agricultural Safety Summit, Raising Safety, Cultivate a Culture of Safety. The goal of this year’s event was to align evidence-based safety interventions with production practices and emerging safety issues. Chela Vázquez, Jeff Bender, Amy Liebman, and Jonathan Kirsch detailed the importance of protecting the health of immigrant dairy workers while Megan Schossow promoted our dairy worker training guides in Tools of the Trade, learning labs with live demonstrations of safety resources and training programs, now available in both English and Spanish. Research assistant Devon Charlier highlighted the research results and occupational risks of manure applicators, an emerging issue that UMASH has identified in ag communities. We also shared an engaging video about aging on the farm, another emerging issue and the topic of our 2020 annual forum.
Dr. John Howard, Director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) gave the event’s keynote address, discussing the ways they’ve addressed agricultural workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Other topics covered during the conference included COVID-19 impacts on small, medium and large-scale farm operations, the future of ag labor and worker sustainability and emerging technologies and their effect on ag worker safety. Attendees left this year’s conference with more knowledge than ever on how to identify, test and implement cost-effective, practical safety strategies that enhance the well-being of workers in agriculture. Mark your calendars for March 28-30, 2022 for the next North American Agricultural Safety Summit.