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.”

Topics:

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
Milan Kucerak, president/CEO, West Central
CropLife 100West Central Cooperative And Its New President Are A Match Made In Deviation
June 29, 2015
To appreciate just how unique West Central Cooperative is in the world of ag retail, an observer need only consider Read More
Winter Wheat
CropLife 100South Dakota Co-op Member Owners Vote No On Unification
June 26, 2015
The Boards of Directors for North Central Farmers Elevator (NCFE) and Wheat Growers (WG) have announced that member-owners have voted Read More
CropLife 100The Andersons Acquires South Dakota Plant Nutrient Manufacturer Kay-Flo
May 20, 2015
The Andersons, Inc., ranked No. 22 on the CropLife 100, has purchased Kay Flo Industries of North Sioux City, SD. “This Read More
CropLife 100North Central Farmers Elevator, Wheat Growers Unification Approved By Board, Still Awaits Member Approval
May 13, 2015
The Boards of Directors for North Central Farmers Elevator (NCFE) and Wheat Growers (WG) have voted to approve the Unification Read More
CropLife 100AgGateway’s Barcoding Initiative Progressing Nicely
May 8, 2015
According to legend (or Wikipedia), the first step towards modern bar codes came back in 1948, when Bernard Silver, a Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Agriculture Acquires Minnesota Retailer
April 14, 2015
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings, LLC, ranked No. 6 on the CropLife 100,  has successfully acquired Liebl Ag, LLC in Ada, MN.  Read More
Latest News
Crop InputsLand O’Lakes, United Suppliers To Merge Crop Inpu…
June 29, 2015
Land O’Lakes, Inc. and United Suppliers, Inc. of Ames, IA, today announced their intent to merge their crop inputs businesses. Read More
FungicidesHelena To Distribute Unique Summit Agro Fungicide
June 29, 2015
RANMAN 400 SC fungicide, the only fungicide with a FRAC group 21 designation, is now part of the innovative Summit Read More
Eric SfiligojIARC Targets 2,4-D In Latest Report
June 29, 2015
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has struck again. Earlier this year in March, this agency of the Read More
Milan Kucerak, president/CEO, West Central
CropLife 100West Central Cooperative And Its New President Are A Ma…
June 29, 2015
To appreciate just how unique West Central Cooperative is in the world of ag retail, an observer need only consider Read More
EquipmentCase IH Launches New Precision Air 5 Series Carts
June 29, 2015
Case IH recently introduced its new Precision Air 5 series air carts, developed to get the most from every plant’s Read More
InsecticidesVestaron Biopesticide Approved In California
June 29, 2015
Vestaron Corporation, a developer of insect control products derived from naturally occurring peptides, today announced that its VST-006330-EP biopesticide has received Read More
InsecticidesValent’s Zeal SC Miticide Receives EPA Approval
June 29, 2015
Valent U.S.A. Corporation announced today that Zeal SC Miticide has been registered by EPA with a new liquid formulation that Read More
Retail FacilitiesUnited Prairie Increased Plant Productivity With Junge …
June 29, 2015
Since 1979, Junge Control continues to provide ag retailers with highly accurate fluid and dry ingredient measuring, mixing and tracking Read More
Winter Wheat
CropLife 100South Dakota Co-op Member Owners Vote No On Unification
June 26, 2015
The Boards of Directors for North Central Farmers Elevator (NCFE) and Wheat Growers (WG) have announced that member-owners have voted Read More
ManagementAsmark Training Center Visit & A Merger No Go
June 25, 2015
CropLife Editor Eric Sfiligoj talks about a visit to the Ford B. West Training Center and the failure of the Read More
Crop InputsWinField: Here’s What We’re Seeing So Far T…
June 25, 2015
One of the most important things you can do throughout the season to help increase yield potential is to ensure Read More
Valent, Commodity Classic 2015
Industry NewsValent Garners FFA Honor
June 23, 2015
Valent U.S.A. Corporation today announced it has been named a 5-star member of the National FFA Foundation. This includes an Read More
Nester Ag intern Brad Nester
Crop InputsOhio NRCS’ New Conservation Practice Standard For Gypsu…
June 22, 2015
Ohio farmers wishing to use gypsum to improve soil quality now have access to technical information and possible financial assistance Read More
Industry NewsWest Central Creates New Executive Team
June 22, 2015
West Central Distribution, LLC officially announced the development of an executive team comprised of Dale Engan, chief executive officer; Michael Read More
MicronutrientsVerdesian Life Sciences Invests In People, Agricultural…
June 22, 2015
In mid-February, the USDA released its new 10-year agriculture projections. While the numbers are new, the theme was consistent. The Read More
Young corn plants
Crop InputsStudy: Crop Rotation Has Positive Impact On Soil Microb…
June 22, 2015
A study authored by Michigan State University (MSU) Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences assistant professor Lisa Tiemann is Read More
Crop InputsIndiana NRCS Unveils Interim Gypsum Practice Standard
June 22, 2015
Indiana farmers wishing to use gypsum to improve soil quality as part of on-farm conservation programs now have access to Read More
ManagementInside Monsanto’s Bid for Syngenta
June 18, 2015
Monsanto’s possible buyout of Syngenta could send ripples through the retail chain. Learn the latest developments with Retail Week guest Read More