ASSP and ASHCA collaborate on improving agricultural worker safety

The American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) and Agricultural Safety and Health Council of America (ASHCA) have signed a three-year memorandum of understanding that brings the organizations together to advance workplace safety and health in the farming industry. The agreement comes during National Farm Safety and Health Week, which raises awareness of the need to better protect agricultural workers across the country.

The agricultural sector is the most dangerous job category in America, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In 2018, the farming segment reported 574 fatalities, or 23.4 deaths per 100,000 workers. Fall harvest time – now in progress – is one of the busiest and most dangerous seasons for the agriculture industry.

“We share a commitment to taking action to eliminate worker injuries, illnesses and fatalities,” said ASSP President Deborah Roy, M.P.H., RN, COHN-S, CSP, CIT, FASSP, FAAOHN. “We strive for greater awareness of occupational safety and health issues, especially in the farming industry that carries an increased risk for many workers.”

The two organizations will share best practices and work together to advance issues of common interest, increase educational opportunities and improve occupational safety and health practices and outcomes.

“Our council works to raise the profile of worker safety within agriculture and helps get safety information into the hands of those who need it,” said ASHCA Chair Jess McCluer, vice president, Safety and Regulatory Affairs, at the National Grain and Feed Association. “Collaborating with ASSP brings a new level of experience to that effort that will improve the well-being of farmers, ranchers and other agricultural workers.”

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