Each year, to help keep ag communities safe, healthy, and injury free, UMASH teams up with American Farm Bureau Federation and our farm safety partners for Agricultural Safety Awareness Program (ASAP) Week!
This year, ASAP Week is March 6-10 with a theme of “Lead the Way in Safety.” Each day of the week highlights a different agricultural health and safety focus. Check out UMASH resources for each day’s topic below, and use the promotional toolkit to share your own safety messages!
Farming is one of the most physically dangerous occupations; many are injured or die while on the job. Farming is also mentally and emotionally challenging, with multiple economic, social, and environmental forces confronting farm families and rural communities.
Learn about the signs and symptoms of stress, how to cultivate resilience in your community, and more with these UMASH resources:
- The Signs and Symptoms of Stress, available in English and Spanish, describes the physical and behavioral signs of stress, with suggestions for self-help or how to help someone else.
- The Cultivating Resilience in Rural Communities Toolkit includes a discussion guide, participant worksheet, video, and other materials leaders can use to plan, prepare, and host a community conversation on mental health in agriculture. The resources include the “nuts and bolts” of organizing, promoting, and hosting a conversational event.
- The Cultivating Resiliency and Rural Resiliency Projects offer webinars and coffee chats to facilitate learning and discussion on farm succession, grief and loss, managing change, and more. Recordings are available for many webinars.
Preventative Health Care
If you’re a farmer, rancher, or farmworker, you already know that your work can expose you to a variety of hazards - physical, mental, environmental, and social. Prevention is critical to maintaining well-being on the farm.
Protect the health and well-being of yourself, your family, and your workers with these UMASH preventative health resources:
- The Eat Well to Stay Well Farm Safety Checklist provides tips for eating well to prevent illness, provide sufficient energy, and support physical and emotional health.
- Our Protect Your Back Spotlight Story discusses ergonomic strategies for preventing back pain while farming and includes a fact sheet and guides for lifting safely and driving posture.
- The Preventing Repetitive Motion Injuries Poster can be posted around the farm and work environment to remind workers to be mindful of their movements and engage in repetitive motion injury prevention methods during their daily activities.
- Our Preventing Long-Term Injuries Flyer provides an overview of how to prevent injuries from repetitive movements caused by excessive bending, lifting, working in an assembly line, and standing for long periods.
Injuries and illnesses on the farm are preventable. With the right tools and precautions, you can cultivate a workplace culture that emphasizes safety and prevents agricultural incidents.
Build or expand the safety culture on your farm with these UMASH resources:
- The UMASH Farm Safety Check provides a quick review to identify and fix potential hazards before they cause harm to your family and employees – and your bottom line. UMASH offers checklists on almost 40 farm safety topics, offering tips to help identify hazards and resources to remedy any problems.
- The Telling the Story Project weaves injury prevention messages into personal stories told by farmers, farm workers, and their families. The project is a collaboration of three NIOSH-funded Ag Centers, including UMASH, and aims to decrease injuries and fatalities on farms by raising safety awareness.
Farms can be dangerous places. Staying aware of your surroundings is a great way to prevent farm injuries and fatalities. It can be as simple as posting signage and informing employees of the dangers and risks.
Review the following resources and share one with your workplace to improve situational awareness on the farm:
- Stop, Think, Act: Safety in Three Words is a simple, yet powerful safety tool that encourages everyone on the farm to consider the task or chore at hand, to ask themselves how their own actions could contribute to a safe and productive outcome and stop if it can’t be done safely. This tool is available as a farm safety checklist, as well as posters in both English and Spanish.
- Our Agricultural Safety PSA Playlist offers one-minute videos on safety in silage bunkers, on roadways, using personal protective equipment, and in dairy handling. University of Minnesota Agricultural Education, Communication and Marketing students created these videos to provide a short and practical overview of how to stay safe in specific scenarios.
Temperatures and climate play a huge role in staying safe on the farm. As winter continues in the Upper Midwest, it is critical to continue taking action to prevent cold stress. As we look toward planting season and beyond, it is also important to be prepared to prevent heat stress.
Keep these resources on temperature-related safety on hand to stay safe and health throughout each season!
- The Cold Stress Toolkit offers resources to recognize signs and symptoms of cold stress so you can stay safe while working through the winter, including a fact sheet, poster, and more.
- Our Dress for Winter Success Spotlight Story describes appropriate layering and suggests ways to stay warm and dry when working on the farm.
- Our Sun Safety Farm Safety Checklist describes tips - including covering your body with clothing, wearing a hat with a full brim, using sunscreen, and wearing sunglasses - for protecting yourself from overexposure to sun-related risks.
- The Heat Illness Farm Safety Checklist outlines strategies to stay prepared and prevent heat-related illness.