SAIF Corp. is adding health and well-being to the curriculum for its 21st annual agricultural safety seminars.
Between November and March, SAIF will host 28 free seminars in 16 cities. The seminars will cover agricultural safety topics ranging from equipment operation to drugs and alcohol to training procedures.
Senior safety management consultant Kevin Pfau said skin cancer risks and precautions will be the focus of his health topic.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, Oregon has the fifth-highest melanoma incidence rate in the U.S., and all of those incidences are diagnosed in non-Hispanic whites.
“We all know the extreme farmer’s tans people get out on the farms but the truth is most people aren’t protecting themselves,” said Pfau. “I’m going to be encouraging them to work with dermatologists and protect themselves.”
Mike Watters, corporate communication and design manager, said SAIF picks the topics for the annual series based on the biggest safety concerns of the agriculture industry each year.
The health and safety portion of the seminars will be included in the “hot topics” seminar, which will be presented by Pfau.
SAIF has not finalized all of the topics for the seminars but Pfau said training seasonal employees and leadership safety will be two additional focuses.
The safety seminars build on condensed information available on the SAIF agriculture safety website and meet one requirement for farmers to be exempt from random OSHA inspections, which Watters said is a big draw for attendees.
In 2015, the seminars attracted 2,200 attendees, up from 1,559 attendees in 2005. Pfau said seminar attendance has been growing with the growth of the agriculture industry.
To meet the growing needs of the agriculture industry, SAIF will also offer nine sessions in Spanish. Last year, the Spanish sessions drew 678 attendees.
The sessions are four hours long, with two hours in the morning, a free lunch and two hours in the afternoon. Registration is free and will open on the SAIF website later this month.