The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) is promoting safe use of agricultural equipment through a new awareness program – “Tune into Safety” - in partnership with the National FFA Organization (FFA).
AEM kicked off the program at the recent National FFA Convention & Expo in Louisville, Kentucky. AEM staff met with National Chapter leaders during the event to discuss the importance of safety education for equipment operations and the benefits of using AEM safety manuals as part of FFA’s Supervised Agricultural Experience.
A large majority of FFA members, many of whom are directly involved in using agricultural equipment, are enrolled in safety training as part of their education.
The Tune into Safety program will award points and shared sales revenue to FFA chapters for including AEM safety manuals in their members’ safety training. It will also provide individual members the opportunity to increase their annual fund-raising efforts by selling the manuals in their communities while communicating the importance of farm equipment safety to their peers.
Program Encourages ROPS, Seatbelt Use
Jaime Vos, AEM safety materials manager, stated: “We’re hoping FFA members take the opportunity to share their personal experiences through social media, express their views about safety when using farm equipment, and communicate the importance of using best safety practices to their peers and community.”
Among the many issues pertaining to safe operation of farm equipment, ROPS, or Rollover Protective Structures, was a topic of discussion during the National FFA Convention, and was also highlighted when AEM hosted the 77th Annual AEM Student Awards luncheon at the 2014 annual meeting of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
At the ASABE event, Nick Schrader from Iowa State University took first place for his winning logo that will be part of a national ROPS promotion strategy for North America that encourages tractor operators to wear seatbelts, raise foldable Rollover Protective Structures (ROPS), and install ROPS on older tractors.
Mike Weber, AEM technical and safety services manager, commented, "ASABE has noted that when used with a seatbelt, ROPS are 99-percent effective in preventing injury or death in the event of an overturn.”
AEM Offers Industry-Consensus Safety Manuals
Currently, AEM publishes industry-consensus safety manuals, including: Ag Tractor, Ag Sprayer, Portable Auger, Skid Steer Loader and Rough Terrain Forklifts, as well as 45 other unique titles for the mining, utility, forestry, and construction industries. These manuals offer equipment-specific safety messages across all brands, cover operational best practices, and complement operator’s manuals by reinforcing or adding to the safety messages they contain.