Iowa Youth Required To Take Tractor Safety Classes 26/02/2008
Tractors are such a common sight on the farm lands of Iowa that children bought up on farms generally do not regard tractors as unsafe or treacherous vehicles to be avoided. What farmer hasn’t been able to refuse rides on his tractor to an imploring child? But tractor fatalities do occur with alarming frequency among teenagers and youth who work on farms for summer jobs or who live on farms. According to the U.S. Department of Labour, young agricultural workers aged 15-17 are at four times the risk of injury than other youth in different workplaces. Nearly 42% of agricultural work related fatalities were young workers between 1992 and 2000, half of these fatalities were under 15.
The Crawford County ISU Extension office in Iowa has made it mandatory for all youth wanting to work on farms this summer to be certified to drive tractors. The certification is required by Iowa law for 14 and 15 year olds who will be operating a tractor over 20 hp. The safety classes will be held during March at Denison High School. The course will teach youth how to operate tractors safely and teach maintenance, as well as safe operation of other farm machinery. The cost of the course is $40, registration forms are available at Crawford County ISU Extension.