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AGRICULTURE REPORT – October 9, 2001: Farm Safety - 2001-10-07

This is the VOA Special English AGRICULTURE REPORT.

A new report by the National Safety Council says agriculture is one of the most dangerous industries in the United States. The group says that more than seven-hundred people died while working on American farms in Nineteen-Ninety-Nine. One-hundred-fifty-thousand others suffered injuries that prevented them from farming.

Recently, President Bush declared National Farm Safety and Health Week. The declaration notes that many young people are injured or killed in preventable farm accidents. It says progress is being made in developing technology that makes farm work safer. It says children must be taught to recognize risks on the farm and to work safely.

The National Safety Council reports that one-hundred children die from farm work accidents each year in the United States. The group organized a national event for National Farm Safety and Health Week. This year, the subject was child safety.

The group notes the importance of keeping children safe from the dangers of farm work. It says many young children are at risk when working with farm animals. Others drown in waterways or in storage centers for animal wastes.

The National Safety Council is urging farmers to develop a safety and health plan for their farm operations, family and employees. Officials say such plans include a fire protection plan, chemical storage plan, farm safety rules and an emergency communications plan. They say all plans should be kept in writing and examined yearly.

The group urges farmers to train all employees and inform them of their plans and rules. It says farmers should inspect their equipment and farms for safety problems. Farmers should buy quality products and use them as directed. They also should keep children away from dangerous machines.

Studies show that farmers have the highest rate of death as a result of conditions linked to tension, or stress. The National Safety Council notes that stress can create mental and physical problems if it is not treated. The group suggests that farmers talk about their problems with family, friends, or clergy. They should limit the use of alcohol and caffeine products. Farmers should stop smoking. And they should get enough sleep.

This VOA Special English AGRICULTURE REPORT was written by George Grow.