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Tractor and ATV Safety on the Farm

>>AMY SUSAN: Hi, I'm Amy Susan, Director of Communications for the Missouri Department of Labor and we're here at the 110th state fare where hundreds of people come every year to taste the food, ride the rides, see the sites and learn about new agricultural efforts and programs. And one particular program I'd like to talk about this week is farm safety. It's a partnership between the Missouri Department of labor and the Missouri Department of Agriculture to raise awareness about the hazards associated with the farm. Now, Brian, you were raised on the farm, your dad told you what to do and what not to do.

>>BRIAN FLEISCHMANN: That is correct.

>>AMY: What happened when you didn't do what he told you to do?

>>BRIAN: Whenever I did not follow the safety procedures I should have, I had a life changing injury. And it's an injury that I will have to live with the rest of my life. I was harvesting corn, using a one row corn picker on my farm outside of Jefferson City, Missouri there and the header had choked up with stalks that were breaking off in and I threw the tractor out of gear, locked the break, I did do that so it did not roll, but I let the power take off system run because when the header was choked like that it was easier to jerk the stalks and then it would help clean the header out. It wasn't easier in the long run. In the end, I ended up losing my arm because of such an action which I knew better than to do because my dad had warned me 20 years not to do that but like I said, we get in a bad habit and we never think about having an accident doing it. It's always someone else that ends up having them it's not us. But it can be you, I'm a living example of it happened to me it can happen.

>>AMY: In 2011, the leading cause for agricultural related injuries was due to the tractor. Why do you think that is?

>>BRIAN: Well, in my opinion, a tractor is the main piece of equipment on a farm. You have to have a tractor to do farm work with. And whether it's brush hogging, whether it's pulling tillage equipment, whether it's pulling hay wagons, the tractor is the main item on the farm. And we get careless with the tractor because we've used it so much we get lax on being safe using it.

>>AMY: When there's an injury on the farm, often times they're not-they don't live to tell the tale. So what type of responses are you getting when you're taking to people today or this week about tractor safety?

>>BRIAN: Well, whenever they see, in person, the life changing injury that I have had it makes them think safe then because I have told them that the life they knew ends the day of the accident if it's the type that I've had. It's a different life afterwards and they-even though they have done dangerous, dangerous things their self, they realize that it could be them next and they talk like by seeing me with my hand missing after the accident that's changing their outlook on being safe.

>>AMY: And you hope that image will stay with them and prevent them from doing something they shouldn't be?

>>BRIAN: I hope that it stays with them to continue to act on safety not just talk it and think it and help spread the act of safety to family, friends, whoever. That way they do not have a life ending or a life changing injury like I have had.

>>AMY: Well, let's hear from someone who you did talk to and see what they have to say about this program.

>>JIM SCHREINER: Farm safety is a big issue. I mean I was raised on a farm where we had some issues with a neighbor on some safety issue so I kind of know first hand how dangerous that can-can be and the program that they're trying to promote here would be a great benefit to the rural schools, the FFA, 4H and stuff of this nature. I think we could get a very good lesson from some of this and it would be well worth putting a video together or something of this nature where they could present this to the schools to make them aware of the grain augers,PTO shafts, things of this nature.

>>AMY: Well thank you again, Brian, for talking with us today about tractor safety.

>>BRIAN: Well you're very welcome, Amy and I'm more than proud to do it if it will help save someone from getting injured seriously or life ending injuring on the farm, I'm more than willing to do it.

>>AMY: Thanks Brian. And if you all have any questions, comments or concerns or want to know more about farm safety, visit and a special thanks to our partners in safety.