ABC Raises Awareness for National Farm Safety & Health Week

Oregon Food and Shelter, News

Portland, OR (September 3, 2008) –  The health and wellbeing of Oregon’s agricultural workers is a priority for agricultural employers throughout Oregon, which is why ABC is celebrating National Farm Safety and Health Week (September 21-27) with a culmination of activities throughout September.

With the help of a grant received through OR-OSHA, ABC’s Safety Committee has produced a bilingual safety video designed to promote a discussion between managers and employees about making safe decisions while working in potentially dangerous environments.

According to the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services, 12.1% of all work-related fatalities in Oregon between 2002 and 2006 occurred in agriculture.  At the request of ABC, SAIF Corporation prepared a report for the same period of time that shows 14,442 claims were made resulting in 207,238 time-loss days. The total incurred loss equaled $79,714,381, or $5,520 per claim.  The goal of the ABC Safety Committee is to reduce this terrible human and economic burden on the agri-business community.

Many safety experts believe that a majority of all work-related accidents in the United States are directly correlated to behavioral practices of people.  This new DVD fills the need for training material that encourages less risk-taking behavior across the full range of daily activities.  There are four specific scenes, representative of activities that occur commonly in Oregon agriculture.  From these scenes, we can all learn to recognize risk-taking situations and make better choices about how our work is done. A copy of the DVD has been mailed to every member of the Agri-Business Council of Oregon. Non-members can contact either the ABC office of OR-OSHA library to check out a copy on a temporary basis.

This DVD is the first step in a multi-level campaign throughout the month to engage Oregon’s agricultural work force about their health and safety. In addition to the DVD, ABC is producing a special section in the September 5 edition of the Capital Press on farm safety, and on September 24 we will be hosting ABC’s first-ever Health and Wellness Fair at the Wellspring Medical Center in Woodburn, Oregon.

The fair is open to the entire agricultural community, focusing primarily on the working labor force. Exhibitors from the health care field will be onsite offering information and providing services such as diabetes tests and blood pressure checks. The health fair is free to the entire agricultural community to attend. The health fair will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“The ABC Safety Committee works hard to promote a safe and healthy work environment within agriculture,” says Geoff Horning, ABC Executive Director.  “Maintaining a healthy and viable work force is critical to the success of Oregon agriculture.

Those interested in joining the group discount plan should contact the ABC office at 503-241-1487 or [email protected].

### About Agri-Business Council of Oregon — Agri-Business Council of Oregon supports Oregon Agriculture through a non-political, non-profit alliance of more than 900 members from all regions, segments and commodities of Oregon agriculture: growers and producers, processors and manufacturers, suppliers, financial and legal institutions, retail, education, government and consumers.

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