Distracted driving. We hear about it every day. In fact, 20 U.S. states have distracted driving laws to protect everyone on the road – yet most of us would never consider distraction when it comes to inside the tractor implement cab, writes Erin Hightower at CropLife.
But it is something we all need to be thinking about as a key part of managing daily farming activities.
According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 417 farmers and farm workers died from a work-related injury in 2016, resulting in a fatality rate of 21.4 deaths per 100,000 workers. Transportation incidents, which include tractor overturns, were the leading cause of death for these farmers and farm workers.
More recently, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows the agricultural sector is the most dangerous occupation in the U.S., with 581 fatalities in 2017 – equal to 23 deaths per 100,000 workers.
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While keeping growers and workers safe is priority number one, eliminating distractions in the cab is more than a safety issue. It’s a practice that also makes the farming day less stressful and demanding.