To shine a brighter light on the occupational hazards of working in agriculture, Virginia Farm Bureau has launched a new website dedicated to providing its members with farm safety information.
Located at vafb.com/safety
, the site was designed by the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation Safety Advisory Committee to deliver a diverse range of resources for rural communities.
“Creating a safety website was really the top priority that the Farm Safety Advisory Committee identified—to have a place where folks could go, whether it be individuals, county Farm Bureaus or other groups who are looking to find information on agriculture safety in Virginia,” said Dana Fisher, the committee’s chairman.
“We wanted the website to be one of the key places people could go to find information they needed, to ask questions or to seek help finding information.”
To serve its diverse member population, the committee compiled resources that would be useful to farmers working with unfamiliar equipment as well as individuals who don’t get to see agriculture in their everyday lives. Topics addressed include safety on the farm, physical and mental health, accident response and road and equipment safety.
Fisher said the committee is eager to add more resources as they become available, citing work being done by Virginia Tech and the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services regarding farm safety.
“VDACS is working a lot on the mental health piece of farm safety, and they’re trying to get a lot of resources together for that. We’re really excited to share those. Virginia Tech, through its Farm Safety, Health and Wellness Project, is working on some financial planning resources that tie into farm stress. I think these are great resources that we can help publicize to our members and the general public.”
While many aspects of the site are helpful specifically to farmers, members without a background in agriculture can still benefit.
Those without experience driving on rural roads can find a wealth of information regarding road safety, as well as information on how to safely operate lawn mowers and all-terrain vehicles.
Additionally, with the well-documented shortage of mental and physical health facilities and services in rural areas, the resources provided can be used by anyone in need of immediate help. Fisher also encouraged members to use Farm Bureau’s family communication plan
for disaster planning.
Noting that additional content will be added to the website over time, Fisher said the flexibility to add information to the website as it becomes available was “one of the great things about this project.”
“We want this to be a timesaver for folks, and we want it to be a way for people to get this information quickly,” he said.