March 24, 2021

BCSP Foundation, ASHCA Form Partnership to Advance Safety Practice in Agriculture

The Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP) Foundation and the Agricultural Safety and Health Council of America (ASHCA) have signed a partnership agreement focused on improving the safety of farmers, ranchers, and other workers in U.S. agriculture.

Photo: Tony Militello, CSP, P.E., BCSP Foundation Vice Chair (left) and Jess McCluer, ASHCA Board Chair (right) during the partnership’s virtual signing.”

Agriculture, due to its decentralized nature and diverse structure, lags other industries in reducing the toll on its workers. Its fatality rate is eight (8) times that of the all-industry average. In a typical year, 551 workers die while doing farm work and about 88,000 suffer lost-time injuries.

Signed at ASHCA’s Agricultural Safety Summit, the partnership agreement outlines a set of goals by which the summit’s host and the BCSP Foundation will collaborate to advance safety, including knowledge-sharing, awareness campaigns, and advocacy for practical methods of ensuring agricultural workers’ well-being.

“The BCSP Foundation is enthusiastic about working with ASHCA and pursuing opportunities to strengthen safety in agriculture,” said Christine McConnell, Deputy Executive Director of the BCSP Foundation. “Together with ASHCA, we can better encourage safety responsibility and support organizations and individuals in improving their safety practices with particular attention paid to needs of our young workers.”

“Agriculture was already one of our most hazardous industries, and none of the pre-pandemic hazards have gone away,” said Jess McCluer, Board Chair of ASHCA. “It’s more important than ever to work together on the non-competitive issue of agricultural safety and health. Cooperation with groups like the BCSP Foundation can bring better, faster solutions to challenges that producers and agribusinesses are experiencing.”

Collaboration will include outreach initiatives such as the Professional Education Series and Annual ASHCA Safety Summit, promoting improved workplace safety and health, competency standards, and professional development. The organizations will participate in forums in which SH&E best practices, innovative solutions, and issues of mutual interest are addressed.

Of particular emphasis, the BCSP Foundation and ASHCA will work together in the development, review, and dissemination of educational resources to raise awareness of foundational safety and health concepts and SH&E career paths among the youth.

Full text of the agreement can be read here.