The North Dakota Safety Council’s (NDSC) efforts to reduce the amount of ag related injuries and deaths in the state just got a boost from Farmers Union Insurance (FUI) in the form of an ag safety trailer. The trailer will house safety education modules and hands-on activities covering grain dust explosions, chemical and respiratory irritation of the eyes and lungs, equipment handling, ATVs, fall protection, and more.
“We’ve wanted to expand our course lineup to include ag safety for many years, considering North Dakota’s population and the hazardous work performed by the ag industry,” said Lynae Hanson, assistant executive director of NDSC. “The trailer will allow us to do just that with hands-on learning that is both memorable and potentially life saving. Even better, we can take the trailer directly into the field to expand learning, rather than farmers and ranchers having to travel to us.”
Nearly one quarter of North Dakota’s population is employed in the agriculture sector. Of the 35 occupational deaths that occurred in 2018 in the state, 12 were in the agriculture industry, said Hanson. In that same year, 246 injury claims were filed, totaling more than $1.3 million. “Agriculture is an industry we need to reach to fulfill our organization’s mission,” she said.
Mark Anderson, chief executive officer of FUI, agrees: “We want to do everything we can to prevent farmers and ranchers from being injured on the job. Awareness of what can happen in the blink of an eye begins with education, which we fully support to prevent the unthinkable.”
Anderson noted that Farmers Union Industries, based in Redwood Falls, Minn., is building the trailer that will be donated to NDSC by FUI.