Kansans can learn about the safe use of farm machinery this month.
Hazardous Occupations Training, sponsored by Kansas State University Research and Extension, is designed primarily to teach 14- and 15-year-olds about safely operating farm tractors and equipment. In recent years, however, adult interest in the training has been increasing, as well, says Kerri Ebert, with the K-State-based Agricultural Safety and Kansas AgrAbility Project.
This year´s training sessions include:
* March 6 and 17 - Sumner County. Contact Sumner County Extension at (620) 326-7477;
* March 12 and 15 - Lyon County. Call Lyon County Extension, (620) 341-3220;
* March 12 and 15 - Chase County. Call Chase County Extension, (620)273-6491;
* March 12 and 15 - Morris County. Call Morris County Extension, (620) 767-5136;
* March 12 and 15 - Coffey County. Call Coffey County Extension (620) 364-5313
* March 28 and 31 - Post Rock District. Call Scott Chapman at the District Beloit office at (785) 738-3597;
* April 11 - Allen County. Call Allen County Extension at (620) 365-2242
* April 11 - Anderson County. Call Anderson County Extension at (785) 448-6826.
Local Extension offices and the Extension Ag Safety Web site (www.oznet.ksu.edu/agsafety) will have information about sessions planned for later this spring, as well as on youth farm employment.
"Federal law requires safety training for youth ages 14 and 15 before they do `hazardous´ farm work for anyone other than a parent or legal guardian. The ramifications of hiring untrained youth this age include fines up to $10,000," says Scott Chapman, agriculture and natural resources agent in the K-State Research and Extension Post Rock District. "But, safety training for farm workers is a good idea, regardless of age."
Grandparents, uncles, aunts, siblings, good friends and family corporations do not qualify for the parental exemption, Chapman says. Without the training, teens can´t do farm work for anyone other than a parent or guardian until age 16.