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Farmers sharing safety stories

Farmers sharing safety stories

The Telling the Story Project is raising awareness about farm safety

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

A new safety campaign is encouraging producers to share first-hand accounts of farm injuries to highlight the importance of safety.

Three U.S. regional agricultural safety centers are working together on the Telling the Story Project, which helps document farm-related safety incidents.

Seven farmers have stories, photos and videos about their accidents posted on the project’s website. The stories include a fire at a hog operation and a farmer breaking his ribs after falling from a 15-foot ladder.

Those involved with the campaign believe producers respond better to some messages after understanding what fellow producers went through.

“Farmers tend to be more open to safety messages after reading about a real incident,” Scott Heiberger, communications manager at the National Farm Medicine Center, told the Wisconsin State Farmer yesterday. “Although statistics are important in influencing attitudes and changing behaviors, Telling the Story Project makes safety personal.”

Project organizers also want growers to use these stories as motivation to increase their farm safety measures.

“The experiences of our story tellers stick with you, and I hope they are shared and passed along to help others recognize unsafe situations,” Stephanie Leonard, occupational safety manager at Great Plains Center for Agricultural Health, told the Wisconsin State Farmer.

The number of ag-related injuries to adults appears to be dropping.

More than 58,000 adults experienced an injury performing work related to farming in 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports.

That figure is down from 2012 when more than 61,000 adults suffered farm-related injuries. has reached out to the Telling the Story Project for more details about the safety campaign.

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