Safety and Health for Youth in Agriculture
Many youths are involved in agriculture on a daily basis. It is estimated that 104 youth under the age of 20 are involved in fatal agricultural incidents a year. The main cause of fatal incidents is machinery, and the main cause of non-fatal incidents is falling. It is important to always supervise and train youth before allowing them to complete an agricultural task.
Tips to keep youth safe in agriculture
- Keep non-working youth out of agricultural practices. This limits the amount of exposure youth have to potential injuries. If non-working youth must be on the farm during work, ensure that they have adult supervision.
- Assign youth age-appropriate tasks and train them in these tasks. By assigning them age-appropriate tasks, they likely better accommodate their smaller size and reduce the risk of injury.
- Always provide youth with the proper PPE.
- Ensure that all equipment and machines are in proper working condition and have the proper safety devices before allowing youth to operate them.
- Teach the youth about the many hazards surrounding agriculture and how to be safe around these hazards.
- As an adult, be a good role model. Often, youth look to the adults around to understand what to do. If you are following safe practices, youth will follow in your footsteps.
- Provide opportunities for youth to learn. As you are working around agriculture, ensure that the youth understand the process and are able to gain meaningful knowledge from the event.