UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Visitors to the Farm Safety Demonstration Area at Penn State’s Ag Progress Days, Aug. 9-11, can learn about the hazards of flowing grain in confined-space grain storages and best practices to avoid and respond to entrapment risks.
Six total demonstrations — at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday — will show how grain flows in storage structures, as well as hazards, anchor points and best practices for preventing grain entrapment and engulfment. The demonstrations are supported by a research grant from the Northeast Center for Occupational Health and Safety, an agricultural education, research and prevention center funded by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
Agricultural safety specialists will hold two grain-bin rescue demonstrations to highlight types of rescue devices and training available to first responders for proper management of on-farm incidents involving grain storage. These demonstrations will take place at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 10. Experts will be available to field questions about safe operating practices around a farm and provide advice on a wide range of safety topics.
The Farm Safety Demonstration Area will also host Penn State faculty members demonstrating the safe use of unmanned aerial vehicles, commonly called drones. Visitors can watch drones in action and learn about their uses in agriculture. The demonstrations will take place at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and at 3 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday.
Visitors to the Rural Health and Safety Tent, at the end of West Sixth Street and adjacent to the Farm Safety Area, can learn about all-terrain vehicle and bike safety and also take advantage of a variety of free health screenings and information. Health specialists will offer carotid artery screenings, vision screenings, and health and safety information from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.
The carotid artery screening uses ultrasound technology to visualize inside the carotid arteries in the neck for fatty plaque build-up that could lead to a stroke. According to organizers, blockage of the carotid artery is the leading cause of strokes, and more than half of all victims show no warning signs.
Also in the Rural Health and Safety Tent, representatives from AgrAbility for Pennsylvanians will provide information on farming with a disability or a long-term health condition. Visitors can see farm-related assistive technology demonstrations, participate in a safe lifting activity, learn about AgrAbility services and hear success stories from farmers across the state.
Pesticide applicators can earn core pesticide credits by attending 30-minute presentations from the Worker Protection Standard program. Two classes — each worth one core credit — will take place in the Rural Health and Safety tent.
“Personal Protection Equipment — Head to Toe: Handlers, Protect Yourself From Pesticides” will begin at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and cover personal protective equipment used to protect handlers from pesticides.
“Personal Protection — What’s Involved in a Respirator Fit Test?” will take place at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Pesticide handlers working with pesticides that require respirators must pass an annual, three-part respirator fit test. Instructors will discuss what pesticide applicators need to know about the requirements.
Groups providing support for activities in the Rural Health and Safety tent include AgrAbility for Pennsylvanians, the Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health, Prevention Health Screenings, American Trauma Society, Penn State Health and Northcentral Sight Services, Inc.
Sponsored by Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, Ag Progress Days is held at the Russell E. Larson Agricultural Research Center at Rock Springs, 9 miles southwest of State College on Route 45. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 9; 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Aug. 10; and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 11. Admission and parking are free.
For more information, visit the Ag Progress Days website. Twitter users can find and share information about the event by using the hashtag #agprogressdays, and the event also can be found on Facebook (@AgProgressDays).