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Commissioner Farmer invites Kentuckians to join in celebrating Farm Safety Week

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer urges all Kentuckians to commemorate National Farm Safety and Health Week Sept. 19-25 by putting safety first.

“Safety on the farm and in the home is everybody’s responsibility,” Commissioner Farmer said. “A moment’s carelessness can result in serious injury or even death. Please take time to think about safety for your own sake and for the sake of your family.”

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s Farm and Home Safety Program and Kentucky Farm Bureau will hold a Pep Rally for Life Sept. 22 at Shelby County High School to celebrate Farm Safety and Health Week. The Department will display its rollover tractor simulator, which demonstrates the use of a rollover protective structure (ROPS) to prevent a tractor from overturning, and its miniature grain bin simulator, which shows how quickly a person can become trapped in a grain bin.

The Department’s Farm and Home Safety Program was launched in 1998 to raise awareness about the importance of making safety a priority. Program administrator Dale Dobson conducts lectures, demonstrations, training and mock accident rescues throughout the Commonwealth.

The Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting sector recorded 17 fatalities in Kentucky in 2008, according to the 2008 Kentucky Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation Program (FACE) annual report. That was an increase of two fatalities from 2007. The death rate in that sector in 2008 – 45.1 per 100,000 employees – was the highest of any occupational sector in Kentucky but was lower than the national average for the sector (55.7). Kentucky’s farm fatalities resulted in more than $1.6 million in lost earnings, the report stated.

Nearly half of the Kentucky farm fatalities involved tractors, and 12 of the 17 victims were ages 60 or older, the report said.

To find out more about the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s Farm and Home Safety Program, go to www.kyagr.com, click on Programs and click on Farm Safety.

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