For the 3rd year in a row, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the federal agency from which the Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety (WCAHS) receive funds is threatened by potential funding loss as the US Congress considers the Fiscal Year 2015 budget. WCAHS is part of the 10 regional Agricultural Safety and Health Centers under direction of NIOSH to provide education, information and research about agricultural health and safety to farmers, ranchers, and agricultural workers throughout the country.
The efforts of the NIOSH Agricultural Safety and Health Centers have significantly contributed to reducing agricultural work-related accidents, such as deaths from tractor rollovers and injuries to children working on farms. Recent projects of the Centers include teaching ways to rescue people trapped in grain bins and developing standards for the safe use of all-terrain vehicles, like 4-wheelers.
Funding levels to NIOSH will most likely be determined this summer. You can make your opinion known about the value of continuing to fund NIOSH and the Agricultural and Safety Centers by contacting your Congressional representatives.