Purdue professors expand safety training for young farm workers
West Lafayette, IN — Two Purdue University professors have used a federal grant to expand their safety and health training program for beginning agricultural workers ages 12-20.
The Gearing Up for Safety curriculum, available to download for free, was launched more than two decades ago by Purdue agricultural and biological engineering professors Roger Tormoehlen and William Field in an effort to reduce farm injuries and occupational health risks. The curriculum features 20 safety lessons on topics that include operating equipment, working with animals, grain storage and handling facilities, and first aid/emergency response.
Each lesson features PowerPoint presentations, videos, activity sheets, teaching aids, relevant case studies and evaluation materials. The lessons align with Agricultural, Food & Natural Resource Career Cluster content standards, along with numerous state educational standards, according to a university press release.
To ensure access for all farm families, including those without internet access, the program has been distributed in flash-drive format to all 3,300 extension offices and 10,000 ag science teachers across the United States. Tormoehlen and Field also travel the country presenting the curriculum to ag science educators.
The program is aimed at enhancing safety preparation and awareness among young workers, who are more susceptible to harm in farming environments.
“They’re excited and want to be involved but may not have the knowledge to be safe,” Tormoehlen said in the release. “The curriculum really gives them the resources to develop better safety practices.”