Syngenta: ‘Take Charge’ Of Farm Safety

Syngenta Healthful Hints graphicWho says farming isn’t dangerous? Growers suffer an average of 70,000 disabling injuries a year, not including respiratory illness and hearing loss. More than almost any other job, agricultural work presents inherent dangers, and growers should have a take-charge approach to managing their physical and emotional well-being, according to Syngenta and university health experts.

Given the many challenges of their work environment, growers deserve credit for all they do to stay well and safe, said Judy Garrett, Syngenta Health Services manager. However, there’s always more that can be done; and taking the extra time to be safe is always a worthwhile investment, especially in relation to these common health-related challenges in agriculture:

Traumatic Injury

Injuries from tractors and other equipment are quite common. One in every 10 growers has an amputation, said Deborah Reed, distinguished service professor at the University of Kentucky College of Nursing. Fatigue and stress are contributing factors to those numbers. “Our brains are wired to do one thing at a time,” Reed said. Fatigue and stress distract us from the task at hand. And more than half of growers also have an off-farm job, making fatigue and stress even more likely.

To help avoid on-farm injuries, growers need to be sure all equipment is operating and serviced properly. It’s also important for growers to understand how their machinery works. “Form good safety habits around issues, such as working alone,” Garrett said. You should always have a first-aid kit and a cellphone handy. Make sure you can call for help.”

Respiratory Illness

Rates of farmer’s lung, a disease caused by breathing in moldy hay or crop dust, have fallen as farming has become more mechanized. But organic dust toxic syndrome remains an issue and causes farmers flu-like symptoms several hours after working in a grain bin.

“People who have had this are more likely to report future problems when exposed to dust of any kind,” said Susanna Von Essen, M.D., professor of internal medicine at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. “It changes the lungs somehow.”

When working around grain, growers need to always remember to wear an N95 respirator with two straps as a precaution.

Chemical Exposure

Anhydrous ammonia probably causes the most problems for farmers, Von Essen said. “It can blind you and can cause an asthma-like response when inhaled.”

When using farm chemicals, growers need to remember to wear appropriate equipment and know what to do if exposure occurs. Keep chemicals in their original containers, post poison control numbers and have directions to your farm handy, Reed said.

Reading the product label is also critical. “The most important thing for growers to do is read and understand chemical labels,” said Syngenta Health, Safety, Environmental & Safety Security Manager Scott Moore. “The label is law and provides a wealth of ways to protect against exposures.”

Hearing Loss

Half of growers over age 50 have hearing loss, which can accumulate after years of working around loud machinery – even if the work was over short periods of time. A good rule of thumb – if a grower needs to raise his voice to be heard over the machinery, then hearing protection should be used.

And one more practice that’s always essential to good health, Garrett adds: Getting regular physical exams. “This would go for any profession. You may look and feel great, but many serious health threats – including many cancers, high blood pressure and heart disease – have no warning signs.”

Leave a Reply

Employees Stories
EmployeesAsmark Institute Dedicates New Training Center To Ford West
August 6, 2014
The Asmark Institute plans to recognize the retired industry leader's years of service to the fertilizer industry at the new state-of-the-art facility in Owensboro, KY. Read More
EmployeesSyngenta: ‘Take Charge’ Of Farm Safety
June 4, 2014
Syngenta and health officials warn of four health-related challenges in agriculture and how they can be managed. Read More
EmployeesHead Start Program Prepares The Next Generation Of Ag Retailers
April 7, 2014
Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association, in partnership with the Asmark Institute, are offering the Head Start Program to prepare students for work at ag retail facilities. Read More
EmployeesThree Keys To Employee Success
March 3, 2014
Increasing employee performance becomes much easier when managers follow these three simple things. Read More
Top 100 Articles
Growmark Group
CropLife 100GROWMARK In 2015: Back, To The Future
March 2, 2015
The nation’s third largest ag retail organization is simultaneously moving forward while remembering its past. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Expands Sanders Brand In The South
February 27, 2015
Pinnacle has acquired Hopkins Seed and Chemical in Qulin, MO, which expands the company's Sanders brand to nine Southern states. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Launches New Providence Agriculture Location In Indiana
February 27, 2015
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings — ranked No. 6 on the CropLife 100 — has established a new retail location in New Castle, IN, which will operate as part of Pinnacle's Providence Agriculture brand. Read More
CropLife 100Cooperative CHS Returns $518 Million To Owners
February 23, 2015
The 2015 cash return to owners is based on CHS net income of $1.1 billion, the company's second highest on record. Read More
corn field
CropLife 100The Andersons’ Humic DG Now Available In Canada
February 13, 2015
The Andersons, Inc. Turf & Specialty Group has announced its Humic DG product is now available to customers in the Canadian turf, agriculture and horticulture markets. Read More
Farmer on tablet
CropLife 100Southern States Co-op: An Inside Look At Our Aerial Imagery Program
February 8, 2015
Now is as good a time as any to explore the basics of what a retail aerial imagery program looks like today. Read More
Latest News
Eric SfiligojCommodity Classic 2015: Playing The Waiting Game
March 2, 2015
There was plenty of future-talk at this year’s event as companies (and growers) are largely in a holding pattern of sorts. Read More
Industry NewsHighway Equipment Appoints New Director Of Business Dev…
March 2, 2015
Cory Venable, who joined Highway Equipment Company (HECO) in 2013 as OEM Account Manager, has been promoted to Director of Business Development. Read More
Prairieland FS employees
Eric SfiligojWorkforce Worries
March 2, 2015
Finding good employees almost always ranks as the No. 1 or No. 2 problem for ag retailers in our annual CropLife 100 survey. Read More
Growmark Group
CropLife 100GROWMARK In 2015: Back, To The Future
March 2, 2015
The nation’s third largest ag retail organization is simultaneously moving forward while remembering its past. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Expands Sanders Brand In The South
February 27, 2015
Pinnacle has acquired Hopkins Seed and Chemical in Qulin, MO, which expands the company's Sanders brand to nine Southern states. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Launches New Providence Agriculture Location I…
February 27, 2015
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings — ranked No. 6 on the CropLife 100 — has established a new retail location in New Castle, IN, which will operate as part of Pinnacle's Providence Agriculture brand. Read More
2,4-D Celebrates 70 Years; GROWMARK Uses Super Bowl Ad To Share Positive Message
Management2,4-D Celebrates 70 Years; GROWMARK Uses Super Bowl Ad …
February 27, 2015
Jim Gray, executive director of the 2,4-D Research Task Force, lays out planned activities to mark the chemistry’s 70th anniversary. Read More
HerbicidesUniversity Of Arkansas Flag The Technology Program Adds…
February 27, 2015
Started in 2010, the Flag the Technology program provides a visual reference for applicators to distinguish between fields planted with different herbicide-tolerant trait technologies. Read More
Luckey Farmers, Inc.’s Berkey Farm Center
Industry NewsLuckey Farmers’ Berkey Branch Certified In 4R Nut…
February 26, 2015
The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program has announced Luckey Farmers Inc.’s Berkey Farm Center in northwest Ohio has been added to its growing list of nutrient service providers to achieve certified status. Read More
Crop InputsWinField Unveiling NutriVision Technology, Ascend Dry F…
February 24, 2015
New for 2015 are NutriVision Technology, a unique tool for monitoring in-season plant nutrient availability, and Ascend WSG plant growth regulator, a new dry formulation of Ascend plant growth regulator. Read More
FertilizerNew Formulation Of NutriSphere-N Protects High Volume U…
February 24, 2015
Verdesian Life Sciences is launching NutriSphere-N HVTM, a new polymer formulation of the proven NutriSphere-N Nitrogen Fertilizer Manager that protects high-volume applications of UAN. Read More
EquipmentIowa Ag Secretary Northey Names Hagie Water Quality Lea…
February 24, 2015
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey has named Hagie Mfg. as a recipient of the Secretary’s Water Quality Initiative (WQI) Leader Award. Read More
FungicidesEvito Fungicide Gives Canadian Wheat Growers New Diseas…
February 24, 2015
EVITO fungicide from Arysta LifeScience North America gives Canadian wheat and barley growers a new option for disease control. Read More
Eric SfiligojThe Commodity Classic Turns 20
February 23, 2015
Two decades in, this annual gathering of all things agriculture has become a must-see event. Read More
CropLife 100Cooperative CHS Returns $518 Million To Owners
February 23, 2015
The 2015 cash return to owners is based on CHS net income of $1.1 billion, the company's second highest on record. Read More
CropLife Retail Week: On The Road Edition
ManagementCropLife Retail Week: On The Road Edition
February 20, 2015
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discuss their recent trips to the National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville and the Read More
Crop InputsLand O’Lakes Acquires FLM+ Assets
February 19, 2015
FLM+ will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Land O'Lakes, Inc., and the company will retain its employee base after closing of the deal, which is scheduled for the second quarter of the year. Read More
Seed/BiotechUnited Suppliers, Stine Seed Form Marketing Alliance
February 19, 2015
The new alliance will greatly expand sales opportunities for Stine Seed with the United Supplier Seed Link Owners. Read More