There has been a tight focus on farm safety the past few months. The proposed child labor laws threw farm safety in the spotlight. The proposal was thrown out, but the lime light has continued to shine. Some might say it’s even gotten a little brighter.
When the regulations were retracted, the issue of farm safety was put on the shoulders of the industry. Government officials, agriculture, and farm safety entities have stepped up. It is our responsibility to set an example by starting a conversation.
We all want the farm safety movement to be successful.
Agriculture wants it to be successful. Needs it to be!
How do we proceed? What will move things forward with the strongest momentum for the greatest impact? Until now all of the various organizations have essentially worked in silos, each doing their own thing. Larger umbrella organizations (like the International Society of Agricultural Safety and Health) provided an opportunity for every organization touching farm safety to offer project updates and share ideas.
The recent scrutiny the farm safety movement has seen has people evaluating if it’s working. There has been talk of extending beyond a working relationship into a collaborative partnership between agencies such as Department of Agriculture, Department of Labor, and Extension. Some states have actually done it. And like every marriage, there have been some disagreements.
It means something different to all of us. We all have a different card to play, a different horse in the race. And some of us are long distance and others are sprinters.
Some worry farm safety is just a current event and will be replaced in a matter of time.
At that point, the question becomes how do we make sure the spotlight doesn’t move onto something else?