UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Penn State Extension Dairy Team, with assistance from Penn State's Agricultural Safety and Health program, has released a 2017 calendar to help agricultural producers implement and maintain necessary safety procedures on their dairy farms.
The calendar was designed by Penn State Extension professionals to raise awareness of the hazards on farms that put workers at risk. Each month highlights one of these potential hazards and offers suggestions for improvement.
The topics highlighted are manure storage, skid steers, farm animals, power takeoff, guarding of components, hazard communication, confined spaces, tractor safety, horizontal silos, personal protective equipment, hazardous energy and electrical systems.
"Posting in a prominent area and holding monthly safety meetings to review key points are two ways for dairy managers to encourage safe habits in their workforce," said Lisa Holden, associate professor of dairy science in the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences. "We hope that our agribusiness partners will help to distribute this calendar to clients before the beginning of 2017 so all have a safe new year."
Workers are able to check items off a list of possible improvements for each month to indicate what is complete or needs improvement. Suggestions include maintaining proper signage and safety barriers, equipment usage tips, wearing the correct apparel for a given task, and having the necessary plans and equipment in place to respond to different kinds of emergency situations.
Calendar users are encouraged to take notes on the areas that are in need of improvement, develop protocols based on the information provided, train workers in areas of high risk and keep a log of any trainings provided. Quick links to information on general farm safety, youth farm safety and how to order safety signs also are provided. Youth-specific tips are marked with a red star to make them easy to find.
"A calendar is a great way to keep safety practices front and center for dairy farmers," said Dennis Murphy, Nationwide Insurance Professor of Agricultural Safety and Health. "It is an efficient way to remind dairy workers to keep safety in mind as they go about their daily work."
The 2017 Farm and Dairy Safety Calendar is available from Penn State Extension for $10, plus shipping. Orders can be placed by calling toll free 877-345-0691. Most major credit cards are accepted.
The Penn State Extension Dairy Team is the industry's source for educational programming based on unbiased Penn State dairy research. The team uses this research to deliver quality educational opportunities — including programs, tools and other resources — to Pennsylvania dairy producers, their employees and agribusiness advisers.
The Penn State Agricultural Safety and Health program is multi-dimensional and ranges in scope from engineering to reduce exposure to hazards, to safety training for youth, to managing agricultural emergencies. The team is responsible for several projects and programs, including FARM-HAT (Farm/Agriculture/Rural/Management Hazard Analysis Tool), the National Safe Tractor and Machinery Operation Program, AgSafety4u, AgrAbility for Pennsylvanians and SAY (Safety in Agriculture for Youth Project), among others.