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Ag Safety Awareness Program Week: Disaster preparedness

Ag Safety Awareness Program (ASAP) Week is March 7-11, and the theme for 2022 is, "Prepare. Prevent. Protect." The designation was created by the American Farm Bureau Federation to bring awareness to safety and health issues in agriculture, and is supported by the U.S. Agricultural Safety and Health Centers, a program of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

Each day focuses on a different message, and today's theme is disaster preparedness. The ASAP Week website highlights these programs:

  • Heat illness is common for farm workers, but it is also preventable. When temperatures rise, be sure to check-in with your partners and workers, and also yourself. Heat stress can occur quickly, and the consequences are severe. The Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety at the University of California-Davis offers a printable poster that explains heat illness signs, symptoms, treatment, and prevention strategies in both English and Spanish.

    Read more:
    How the heat got me down
    Watch for frostbite, hypothermia when temps drop
  • If you live in an area where wildfires are common, it's important to protect your lungs. Colorado State University and the High Plains Intermountain Center for Agriculture Health and Safety offer printable flyers with information on checking the air quality index and using personal protective equipment when needed.

    Read more: Respiratory masks
  • Masks have become top of mind for everyone because of the pandemic, but they are also needed when performing certain jobs on the farm. Some tasks require more protection with a respirator. The Great Plains Center for Agricultural Health and the University of Iowa share important details on the different types of masks and when they should be worn. It also includes a chart featuring different types of facial hair and how they may interfere with respirators.

    Read more: Respiratory health takes center stage
  • A natural disaster or other emergency can occur without warning, so it's important for everyone's safety to have a farm emergency action plan in place. The University of Minnesota Extension offers an extensive list of things to consider when making your emergency plan, plus links to emergency planning documents.

    Read more:
    Are you ready for anything?
    6 tips to prepare your farm for a flood
    Emergency planning for livestock

Click here to learn more about ASAP Week and find additional resources.

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