Farm Machinery Leading Cause For Farm Accidents, Especially For Children, Says Melissa Proeckleman, National Farm Medicine CenterMon, 04 Jan 2021 12:04:38 CST
Farm machinery is the leading cause of accidents and injury for children on the farm today said Melissa Proeckleman, outreach specialist at the National Farm Medicine Center and a member of the outreach team at the Upper Midwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center.
Ploeckleman was recently interviewed by Radio Oklahoma Agriculture Network Associate Farm Director and Editor KC Sheperd.
We talk all the time about the farm kids’ paradox, Proeckleman said.
The farm is a great place to grow up, but it is also a hazardous place, she said.
We know that about 33 kids are injured on farms everyday nationwide and the leading cause is farm machinery, she said.
The pandemic has forced our kids to spend more time at home on the farm.
One thing we highly recommend is for a parent to create a safe playing area to make sure the kids are not getting in a hazardous situation, she said.
Proeckleman suggested creating a physical barrier between the kids and the hazard.
With the big machinery we have today there are many blind spots, she said.
It’s okay to take youth out in the field but never take children on the tractor, Proeckleman said.
That extra seat is for an instructor. The safety measures, such as a roll over bar protects only the driver, not the passenger, she said.
She suggested assigning age appropriate chores and tasks.
Formerly an agricultural instructor, Proeckleman has always lived and worked in central Wisconsin.
She pointed out proper farm chores are not always about age.
I saw some 12-year-olds that were big enough to physically handle a tractor, she said.
I also saw some 16-year-olds that were too short and physically not able to safely handle the machinery, she said.
Some youths can understand how animals move and react, some do not, so maybe they shouldn’t be working with horses or cattle until they are old enough and large enough to do it safely, she said.
A major resource for improving farm safety is the “Telling the story project.”
Farmers love to tell stories as it is part of their culture, Proeckleman said.
They asked farmers to share stories of close calls or actual accidents, hoping others will learn from mistakes.
That is what this project is about, she said.
We’re hoping to keep other farmers safe.
Click here to learn more about this project.
You can click on the listen bar below to hear more of KC’s interview with Melissa Proeckleman.
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