Monday, November 24, 2014
   
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Risky business

Agriculture one of most dangerous industries.

As central Nebraska’s weather grows more spring-like by the day, area farmers are taking to the fields, anxious to get the land prepared for seeds.

It’s an exciting time of anticipation for ag workers.

It can also be a dangerous time in one of the most hazardous industries in the United States.

Much effort is put into promoting ag safety during the fall when farmers spend long hours to harvest crops.

Much less is done during the spring, said Dawson County Extension educator Bruce Treffer.

“The only difference in the spring is the types of machinery,” Treffer said. “There are still plenty of tractors on the roads and an awful lot of dangerous farm activities.”

Research from the National Safety Council indicates that 700 farmers and ranchers die in work-related accidents yearly.

Another 120,000 farm workers suffer disabling injuries from work-related accidents.

“There’s just so much that can go wrong,” Treffer said.

Studies by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health consistently rank agriculture as one of the most hazardous occupations in the nation with a death rate of 21 per 100,000 workers annually, second only to the mining industry.

On average, 17 Nebraskans died annually over the past five years on farms and ranches as a result of an agricultural-related accident.

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