Farm Safety Awareness Program Week: Disaster Preparedness

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Farm Safety Awareness Program (ASAP) week runs from March 7-11 and the theme for 2022 is “Prepare. To inform. Protect “. The designation was created by the American Farm Bureau Federation to raise awareness of safety and health issues in agriculture, and is supported by the US Agricultural Safety and Health Centers, a program of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

Each day focuses on a different message, and today’s theme is disaster preparedness. The ASAP week website highlights these programs:

  • Heat-related illnesses are common among agricultural workers, but they are also preventable. When temperatures rise, be sure to check in with your partners and workers, as well as yourself. Heat stress can happen quickly and the consequences are serious. The Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety at the University of California-Davis offers a printable poster that explains heat illness signs, symptoms, treatment, and prevention strategies in English and Spanish.

    Read more:
    how the heat brought me down
    Watch for frostbite and hypothermia as temperatures drop

  • If you live in an area where wildfires are common, it’s important to protect your lungs. Colorado State University and the High Plains Intermountain Center for Agriculture Health and Safety offer printable pamphlets with information on checking the Air Quality Index and using personal protective equipment when needed .

    Read more: Respiratory masks

  • Masks have become a priority for everyone due to the pandemic, but they are also necessary when performing certain jobs on the farm. Some tasks require more protection with a respirator. The Great Plains Center for Agricultural Health and the University of Iowa share important details about the different types of masks and when they should be worn. It also includes a chart showing different types of facial hair and how they can interfere with respirators.

    Read more: Respiratory health at the center of concerns

  • A natural disaster or other emergency can strike without warning, so it’s important for everyone’s safety to have an on-farm emergency action plan in place. The University of Minnesota extension has a long list of things to consider when developing your emergency plan, along with links to emergency planning documents.

    Read more:
    Are you ready for anything?
    6 tips to prepare your farm for a flood
    Livestock Contingency Planning

Click here to learn more about ASAP Week and find additional resources.

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