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Honoring National Farm Safety and Health Week

One doesn’t normally associate the workings of New York City with the farmers of America. One generally has to drive quite far from the city before even encountering a farm. However, the work that America’s farmers do substantially impact the ability of New Yorkers to live like they do. Nearly every mouthful of “real” food that New Yorkers consume contains at least one ingredient that was grown or otherwise cultivated on a farm of some sort. As a result, protecting the nation’s farmers from harm is very much in the interests of New Yorkers.

Unfortunately, the agricultural industry tends to be quite dangerous. Farming and otherwise processing agricultural products is dangerous work for even the most informed and well-trained workers. However, it is also particularly dangerous for the children, teens and migrant workers that comprise a surprising amount of the labor required to keep America’s farms and agricultural operations running.

In an effort to foster more safety-related initiatives and education within the industry, this week has been deemed “National Farm Safety and Health Week.” An expert employed with the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering at the University of Illinois recently explained that, “It’s very important to consider safe farm practices all year long, but especially during the harvest season, when we experience the highest injury and fatality rates of the year. There are a number of areas where we can significantly reduce our risk using safe farm practices.”

It may be impossible to completely eliminate the risk of workplace accidents within the agricultural industry. However, it is possible to adequately train workers, to outfit them with proper safety gear and to otherwise protect them from most sources of work-related harm. This week will hopefully inspire both city-dwelling and rural Americans to do what they can to support these goals.

Source: The Cattle Site, “National Farm Safety and Health Week Focuses on 'Protecting What Matters,'” Sep. 19, 2014

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