The “Youth in Agriculture” eTool is dedicated to the problem of potential dangers that may be encountered by young people while following different types of agricultural procedures. With the aim of preventing any negative outcomes of working in this field, the authors present a list of possible hazards providing the exhaustive picture of the impact of a particular item which may be experienced by employees (in some cases presenting the statistics of deaths and injuries) and giving detailed advice concerning the behavior of both teen workers and employers. The hazards included in the list are as follows: tractors; other machinery; struck-by; falls; electrocution; confined spaces (grains bins, silos, and manure pits), chemicals and pesticides; overexertion, strains and sprains, noise, chemicals, skin disorders and cancer, respiratory hazards, heat stress, temporary labor camps and seasonal work (united under the subheading “Workers and Pickers”), and, finally, organic dust. What is emphasized in each section is employers’ responsibility for physical safety of their employees – in other words, it is their direct duty to do everything possible to create safe working conditions for their workers; at the same time, employees must strictly follow the safety rules established by the employers. In addition to that, it is underlined that some types of agricultural jobs cannot be performed by youths under 16.
Definitely, the occupational health and safety to a large extent depend on the efforts made on the parts of all the participants of the working process: in order to avoid any unexpected and painful results, everybody involved in work that poses a threat needs to realize their own responsibility. If the advice contained in each of the before mentioned hazard sections is followed by both young workers and employers, the risk of potential injuries or even deaths can be substantially minimized. Therefore, these regulations must be obeyed. Obviously, they need to be popularized among those working in the sphere of agriculture, and especially among young workers since they lack experience and knowledge necessary for their health and life safety.
Occupational Safety & Health Administration [OSHA]. (2003). Regulations (Standards-29 CFR). Retrieved from https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/youth/agriculture/index.html.