Every third week in September is National Farm Safety and Health Week, an occasion to promote the health of America’s rural communities and the farms that are often a central part of them.
Of course, not all of rural America is made up of farmers and their families. But chances are good that, if you live in a rural area, you have a farm family member in your community — not to mention in your schools, universities, hospitals, and healthcare facilities.
For that matter, it isn’t just rural America who live with farmers. Given their role in providing healthy food for the nation day in and day out, and the renewed appreciation they’re enjoying in urban centers thanks to the growing popularity of organic and farm-fresh produce, it’s pretty much acknowledged that farmers make a huge impact on everyone’s life.
The grim data about farm safety, then, should give us pause. “Statistics bear out the importance of farming, showing the average farmer feeds 155 people and the U.S. farm sector is projected to have receipts of more than $409 billion this year,” as the editors of the Herald-Whig put it.
National Farm Safety and Health Week 2017: “Putting Farm Safety into Practice”
National Farm Safety and Health Week 2017, then, is the ideal time to remember the dangers that farm life can pose, and do what we can to maintain farm health and safety within our community. As the Herald-Whig reminds us, “the annual fatality rate for farmers and farm workers is about 20 deaths per 100,000 workers” — or almost six times (!) the average overall rate of occupational fatalities nationwide.
Though those statistics mostly involve the risks of heavy machinery like tractors and ATVs, other data on farmer health patterns isn’t much more encouraging. The editors cite data indicating that “farmers and farm families are less likely than most Americans to have regular health screenings, doctor appointments and health insurance.”
All this speaks to the importance of providing the nation’s rural communities with greater access to care. And, as Iowa’s KCRG-TV9 points out, that goes beyond farmers to those who share communities — and roads — with them:
“This year’s theme is one that hits home and reminds us that it is everyone’s responsibility for safety both on the farm and the rural roadways of America,” the KCRG news team reported.
If you represent a facility experiencing shortages in care, or if you want to ensure against that happening in the years to come, we encourage you to contact us today. We can connect you with high-quality physicians and practitioners who can help ensure you maintain optimum care. You can also submit a locums staffing request now using this brief form.
Locums Staffing Request
Celebrate National Farm Safety and Health Week by nominating a hard-working rural physician for Country Doctor of the Year Award! But hurry—the nomination process ends soon. Submit a nomination or learn more here.