Archive of ‘Safety’ category

Mid-Atlantic AgrAbility to host free Respiratory Health Webinar

Respiratory Health Webinar hosted by Mid-Atlantic AgrAbility


DATE:   February 15, 2012 at 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.

SPEAKER:  John May, M.D., with Bassett Hospital and New York Center for Agriculture Medicine and Health


The agricultural workplace has long been associated with respiratory diseases.  Respiratory disease is among the main chronic health conditions affecting farmers, agricultural workers, greenhouse and nursery workers, veterinarians, and grain handling workers.  While significant exposure leading to acute disease have decreased, it is estimated that there has been a significant increase in subacute and chronic respiratory diseases associated with agricultural confinement facilities.

Exposures to organic dusts, molds, bacteria, and gases such as from the fermentation of manure and silage will lead to respiratory illnesses, often with overlapping clinical signs and symptoms.  Other respiratory hazards include inorganic dusts, pesticides, and other agricultural chemicals.

Don’t miss this informative webinar to learn more about respiratory hazards, respiratory protection and supporting farmers with respiratory illnesses. 


Dr. May is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.  His training in Internal Medicine and Pulmonary Disease was at the Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown, NY and at the University of Colorado Medical Center. For most of the past 30 years,

he has practiced pulmonary medicine at Bassett Healthcare in Cooperstown, NY. Over this time he has worked increasingly on occupational health problems affecting people in agriculture. As Director of the New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health (NYCAMH), Dr. May leads one of nine regional centers for agricultural safety and health designated by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.   The Northeast Center has active projects in a number of northeastern and middle Atlantic states.  Through this work, Dr. May has acquired experience in a variety of approaches to public health intervention.  He also serves as director of the Bassett Research Institute.


Please visit and follow the link to learn more about the webinar and complete the webinar registration form which is located in the news section of the home page.  You may also go directly to and register for the event.  The Webinar is free. Registration is limited so please register as soon as possible.


The webinar will be conducted using Adobe Connect. High speed Internet is recommended.

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Registrants will receive a link to the webinar by Feb. 10, 2012.

Farm emergencies are focus of Sussex County Cooperative Extension

Agriculture can be a risky profession. In 2009, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) reported 551 fatal injuries in the agriculture, fishing and forestry injuries. Crop production represented 278 of these fatalities, followed by 141 fatalities related to animal production.  According to NIOSH website,  agriculture employs proportionally more workers aged 16-19 and aged 55 years or older. During the decade 1992-2001, agriculture was the leading source of work-related deaths. During this same time span, farm tractors were involved with 2,165 fatal occupational injuries. NIOSH does not collect serious or minor injuries since they are often classified as residential accidents.

Members of Bridgeville and Greenwood Fire Companies respond to a simulated overturned tractor at UD's research farm in Georgetown

Delaware’s agricultural safety track record for 2009 is excellent, with zero fatalities reported that year. It is a record Mike Love, safety agent with University of Delaware Cooperative Extension, does not take for granted and intends to maintain.  For three days, Dec.9-11,2011, Love coordinated an intensive Farm Emergency Course for area responders from the Bridgeville and Greenwood Volunteer Fire Companies. The course was taught on the grounds of the Carvel Research and Education Center in Georgetown, classroom instruction at  the Bridgeville Fire Company, and included an extended tour of a large family dairy farm in Bridgeville. The effort was a partnership with UD and Penn State University’s Managing Agriculture Emergencies program.

“Our emergency personnel are virtual experts at responding to residential accidents and motor vehicle crashes,” Love says. “But farm equipment is different, heaver and uses different metals than most EMT’s are familiar with.

“While we think of a farm as a home, it is actually an industrial site with potential risks. This training gives them an awareness level and valuable hands-on experience,” Love says.

Throughout the weekend various rescue scenario modules were set up to simulate a variety of tractor and equipment mishaps, exposing rescuers with specific extrication challenges and provisions for patient care.  Modules included tractor rollovers and various farm equipment entrapment/entanglement. Different hazards that face workers in the agricultural sector were reviewed.

Methods to secure and stabilize equipment, such as in the case of overturned tractors, were stressed. Responders encountered various entrapped mannequins and received training on how to properly stabilize equipment before attempting rescue.

In addition to traumatic injuries, emergency personnel reviewed methods to safely free individuals from farm equipment who might become disabled due to other health issues such as heat exhaustion, diabetes incident or heart attack. Using volunteer patients, the exercise was an opportunity for responders to become better acquainted on handling patients within the limited spaces, complicated angles, and entanglements that are unique to agriculture and its equipment.

EMTs from Greenwood and Bridgeville remove a simulated patient from a combine

The training included an extended tour of a large dairy farm in Bridgeville. First responders were able to access specialized farm equipment, such as a combine and familiarize themselves with farm buildings.  Additional simulated rescues were performed on site. The tour was an opportunity for first responders to get the lay of the land of a typical Delaware farm and observe how farm vehicles operate on agricultural terrain.

Love invited his colleagues from Penn State to present their farm rescue program in classroom sessions. First responders practiced with modules that included patient care, critical pre-planning and decision making exercises, and a review of the unique challenges of specialized farm equipment.    “We are especially grateful for the well-established expertise of Dave Hill, program director for Penn State’s Managing Agriculture Emergencies and Eric Rickenbach, fire and safety instructor at Penn State for coming to Delaware and sharing their knowledge,” Love says.

For more information about agricultural safety and the Farm Emergencies course, contact Mike Love at the Carvel Research and Education Center, (302) 856-2585 ext 583

Eric Rickenbach, Penn State provides instruction to Sussex County responders

Additional photos are available at the Carvel Flickr site

All photos by Pete Stephens, volunteer firefighter, Bridgeville Fire Company.

Safe Kids Day’s Safe Summer Fun returns to Sussex County August 10.

UPDATE: See photos of 2011 Sussex County Safe Kids Day here!

The Sussex County chapter of Safe Kids is pleased to partner with University of Delaware Cooperative Extension, Sussex Tech High School and other organizations in presenting the 2011 Sussex County Safe Kids Day on Wednesday, August 10 at Sussex Tech High School.  The event runs from 9 a.m. to noon and admission is free.  Download a pdf Safe Kids Day flier here.

Always a popular event among children, parents,  caregivers and youth clubs, the Sussex County Safe Kids Day had been on hiatus the past two years, to allow renovations to Sussex Tech’s athletic complex.

“We are very excited to return to our neighbors at Sussex Tech and offer this terrific event,” says Mike Love, UD safety Extension agent. Love, whose office is next door at the Carvel Research and Education Center is also a board member of Safe Kids- Sussex County and organizes Safe Kids Day. “There will be about 25-30 exhibitors and activity displays representing many partner organizations, such as Beebe Medical Center. We are appreciative of the response and teamwork,” Love says.  Incentives and giveaways are a popular feature. A limited number of safety information kits will be available to the earliest arrivals.

Cheryl Littlefield, chairperson of Safe Kids- Sussex County is all about getting the word out in a big way about injury prevention.  An registered nurse   and Emergency Management Coordinator with Beebe Medical Center, Littlefield is “thrilled that so many organizations are coming together for the benefit of Delaware’s children.”  In addition to individual families, children involved with youth clubs and camps, and day care centers are welcome. Littlefield says. “We can reach a large number of children with this one event.”

Young visitors, carrying their yellow safety kit bags make the rounds at the various exhibits and displays at a past Safe Kids Day

As in past years, children will be the VIPs at this year’s Sussex County Safe Kids Day.  The theme for this injury prevention exhibition is Safe Summer Fun!  The efforts of several exhibits and activities will be to inform and teach parents, caregivers and children alike about the ways to stay safe during the summer and throughout the year.

The program identifies risks associated with popular summer activities and the unfortunate escalating number of recreational and sports-related injuries.  Parents and children think of summer as the season for fun and relaxation, but emergency room doctors know it as “trauma season.”  In fact, children will be rushed to the emergency room nearly 3 million times this summer.  To help kids learn to play safe, the 2011 Sussex County Safe Kids Day will include focused exhibits and activities on bicycles, motor vehicles, water safety, fire safety, avoiding drugs and alcohol, and the many other activities that can lead to injuries.

Sussex Technical High School athletic complex is located on Route 9, between Georgetown and Laurel. For more information contact Mike Love at 302-856-2585 ext 583 or by email:

Safe Kids- Sussex County challenges every parent and caregiver to join us in protecting America’s most precious resources—our children.



Delmarva Safety Association announces Mike Love as new executive director

The Delmarva Safety Association (DSA) is pleased to announce that Mike Love, Extension safety agent at the University of Delaware, Research and Education Center in Georgetown has accepted the position as Executive Director for organization.  Love will be assuming responsibilities held by former Executive Director Ron Jester, who retired after 35 years of service to DSA. In his new role, Love will spend 15 percent of his duties with DSA in addition to his Extension safety agent responsibilities.

DSA is a non-profit educational organization formed in 1976 through leadership of the University of Delaware, Cooperative Extension,

Love's role as Executive Director of DSA will be an addition to his position as UD's Extension safety agent

the Delaware Safety Council, poultry integrators and leading companies on Delmarva.  Their mission is to reduce injuries and fatalities in the workplace through education, promotion and advocacy of safety in the workplace and communities.  DSA hosts bimonthly luncheons and sponsors two safety workshops – one in Dover in the fall and in Salisbury, Md. in the spring.  The current membership exceeds 125 members.

DSA is managed by nine officers and six boards of directors representing all major industries on the Delmarva.  Current officers in addition to the University of Delaware represent Perdue Farms, NASA, Chesapeake Utilities, Nemours Foundation, Dover Air Force Base, Kraft Foods Global, Mountaire Farms, Delmarva Power, MOSH, and Maryland Fire and Rescue Institutes.

Love has been with the University of Delaware since 2002 and has served as the community traffic safety program leader and most recently as Sussex County Extension safety agent.  He brings a wealth of experience to DSA with a background in truck transportation, emergency services and injury prevention. A volunteer firefighter for 30 years, Love is also a registered EMT in Delaware, and has served as an instructor for defensive driving, child passenger safety, and tractor and machinery operation.

Mark Isaacs, director of the Carvel Research and Education Center sees significant value in the partnership with DSA. “I am elated that we will be able to continue the strong relationship between the UD and DSA. With Mike’s experience and background he is an excellent fit to provide leadership for the association,” Isaacs said. Love’s dual role will provide Delawareans with greater opportunities and access to safety educational programs and activities that impact farms, businesses and industries not only in Delaware, but throughout the peninsula, Isaacs said.

To learn more about the Delmarva Safety Association and safety educational opportunities offered through the organization, please call Mike Love at (302)856-2585 ext 583 or visit their web site at