Ohio Consultation Builds Relationship with Agricultural Community

Ohio Consultation Builds Relationship with Agricultural Community
The Ohio State University and Ohio Fire Academy’s mobile grain rescue simulator travels throughout the state to educate the agricultural community on staying safe while working around grain and help emergency personnel practice grain rescue techniques. During the 2022 OSHA Grain Stand Up event, Ohio OSHA On-Site safety consultant Laura Mattimoe volunteered to be buried chest deep during a simulated rescue.

Agriculture has the highest rate of fatal work injuries in the U.S. according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In Ohio, the Ohio OSHA Consultation Program has been working to bring safety culture and hazard awareness to the agricultural community. While OSHA defines agriculture as the raising of crops or animals, there are many associated industries that consider themselves part of the agricultural community. These include grain elevators, seed suppliers, fertilizer and pesticide manufacturers, feed mills, farm field and farmstead equipment manufacturers, and others. The Ohio Consultation Program has made great strides in connecting with all of them.

In July of 2021, OSHA Area Offices in Ohio, the Ohio Consultation Program, and the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation signed an Alliance agreement with the Ohio AgriBusiness Association. Since then, Ohio Consultation has provided the agribusiness community with information, resources, and training opportunities to create safer and more healthful workplaces. Outreach, awareness, and communication activities have allowed OSHA and Ohio Consultation to reach employers and workers in agribusiness across Ohio.

Ohio Consultation has also provided presentations on safety and the benefits of Consultation at various events, including:

  • the Ohio AgriBusiness Association’s annual industry conference,
  • the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Annual Certified Livestock Manager training,
  • the Ohio Risk Coordinators Group monthly meeting,
  • the Ohio Farm Bureau’s monthly meeting of Organizational Directors,
  • the Farm Science Review, and
  • the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation’s Safety Congress.

Ohio Consultation has also partnered with the Ohio Farm Bureau and Central State University to provide increased awareness of Consultation services. All these efforts have helped raise awareness of the safety and health resources available to the agribusiness community.

In March of 2022, in coordination with the National Stand Up for Grain Safety week, Ohio Consultation hosted a demonstration on grain handling safety for 58 attendees. The event featured the Ohio State University and the Ohio Fire Academy with their grain Comprehensive Agricultural Rescue Trailer (CART), the Ohio Farm Bureau, Ohio AgriBusiness Association, and the University of Toledo’s Master of Science in Occupational Health Program. Students and teachers/professors from local Future Farmers of America (FFA) chapters were in attendance. Staff were also present from OSHA’s Toledo Area Office and the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation Division of Safety & Hygiene. At this event, the Ohio State University discussed methods of identifying hazards and conducted a simulated rescue exercise.

Because of Ohio On-Site Consultation’s dedication to working with the agricultural community, the national kickoff for the 2023 Stand Up 4 Grain Safety will be held in Ohio at the Wayne County Fire & Rescue Training Facility in Apple Creek on March 27, 2023.

The OSHA On-Site Consultation Program offers no-cost and confidential occupational safety and health services to small and medium-sized businesses in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and several U.S. territories, with priority given to high hazard worksites. Consultants from state agencies or universities work with employers to identify workplace hazards and how to fix them, provide advice for compliance with OSHA standards, train and educate workers, and assist in establishing and improving safety and health programs. On-Site Consultation services are separate from OSHA enforcement efforts. To locate the OSHA On-Site Consultation program nearest you, call 800-321-OSHA (6742) or visit https://www.osha.gov/consultation.