Safety and Health for Women Fact Sheet
The objective is to provide basic information regarding overall safety and health for women in an agricultural related position.
Women represent 36% of all American agricultural producers, based on the 2017 Census of Agriculture. This has increased by 5% from the 2012 Census of Agriculture. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) outlines women’s risks, including pregnancy-related hazards, mental health, and work-related injuries (Ag Safety and Health, 2021). It is always essential for women in agriculture to be aware of their surroundings and overall health.
SIZE AND SHAPE
• Generally, tools are made for larger framed individuals; find tools made for a more petite body frame when at all possible.
• Be sure to adjust machinery where all pedals and levers can be easily reached.
• Resource properly fitting PPE to accommodate smaller sizes.
• Women generally have an upper body strength 40-75% less than their male counterparts.
• Wearing sturdy footwear can help avoid falls and help with stability while carrying heavy loads.
• Having an appropriate calcium intake can help maintain a strong bone density.
• Be cautious when working around pesticides, needles, or livestock hormones, as these can all impact fertility.
• Zoonotic diseases can also impact fertility. Zoonotic diseases are caused by viruses, bacteria, parasites, and fungi.
• Establish a support system including family and friends or even online blogs and networks.
• Do not be afraid to talk to a healthcare professional if there are any symptoms of depression or anxiety.
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