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Ohio State University Extension


Introduction To Agricultural Safety

Agricultural Tailgate Safety Training for Operators and Supervisors
Agriculture and Natural Resources
Agricultural Safety and Health Program

Objective: To know safety training is important and can reduce injuries.

Trainer’s Note

This module offers introductory information about what makes safety training important, and provides a few general safety tips.


In work-related fatality rates among U.S. industries, agriculture (grouped with forestry, fishing and hunting) ranks first with a rate of 22.8 deaths per 100,000 workers (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2015).  It is one of the most hazardous occupations in the United States. The majority of agricultural fatalities involve some type of machinery or equipment.

Injuries cost time, money, and involve intangible losses. Time will be lost while you are recovering, medical and rehabilitation bills will begin to add up, and, worst of all, you might not be able to function as you did before the injury. Safety is too expensive not to be taken seriously.  Injury costs reduce the profit margin of your operation and, in the worst cases, cost people their lives.     

Safety is everyone’s responsibility. It is up to everyone associated with the agricultural industry to use safe working practices. All family members and employees can contribute to each other’s safety. Remember, operators of machinery aren't the only ones who get injured while working.

General Tips for a Safe Working Environment

  • For an effective farm or ranch safety program, first perform a safety status assessment.
  • Make safety everyone’s concern including family, employees, visitors, and yourself.
  • Be aware of what you are doing and your surroundings. The highest percentage of injuries happen during routine, everyday chores.
  • Ask for help if a task might be more than you can handle alone.
  • Take short rest breaks, so you don't overexert yourself.
  • Eat a balanced diet and get plenty of sleep.
  • Train new equipment operators before letting them work on their own.
  • Read the operator’s manual for each piece of equipment.
  • Wear the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) for everyday chores and specific jobs.  Protective footwear, that also provides ankle support, and close-fitting clothing are important for everyday work. (Specific job related PPE is discussed in the other modules in the series).

Review The Following Points

  • Agriculture is the leading industry for work related injuries.
  • Safety is everyone’s responsibility.
  • Safety is too expensive to learn haphazardly. Injuries have many related costs.
  • The working environment can be made safer by following a few simple safety measures.

About These Modules

The Ag Tailgate Training Series was developed by members of the Agricultural Safety and Health Program in the Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering. Revised by Dee Jepsen, State Agricultural Safety Leader, with editing assistance by Lisa Pfeifer and Cody McClain.

True or False Answer Key

  1. F
  2. T
  3. T
  4. T
  5. F     

Quiz: Introduction To Agricultural Safety



True or False?    

1. Only machinery operators need to worry about safety. T F
2. Agriculture is the number one industry in the United States in work-related fatality rates. T F
3. The first step in an effective farm or ranch safety program is to perform a safety status assessment. T F
4. Injury costs reduce the profit margin of your operation. T F
5. Wearing the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) is not important unless you are working with pesticides.  T F








Originally posted Jun 7, 2019.