The International Society for Agricultural Safety and Health (www.isash.org) urges everyone involved in agriculture to recognize National Farm Safety and Health Week (Sept. 16-22) and promote awareness of safety solutions year round.

This year’s theme, “Agricultural Safety and Health … A Family Affair,” focuses on the family farm.

“Although farming in many regions is moving toward larger operations, a great percentage of the agricultural industry is still based on the family unit,” said ISASH President George Cook, University of Vermont. “The protection and well-being of farm family members remains one of the guiding principles of ISASH.”

Agriculture is more than seven times as hazardous as other U.S. industries, with 621 fatalities in 2010, according to the Census of Fatal Occupational Injury.

ISASH approaches agricultural safety and health from multiple perspectives. Its membership includes engineers, educators, insurers, physicians, nurses, veterinarians, statisticians, communicators, business leaders and others who contribute to a safer and healthier agricultural work place.

ISASH is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Able to trace its roots to a small but viable farm safety awakening in the United States during the late 1930s, ISASH incorporated in 1962 as National Institute for Farm Safety. Many safety initiatives in U.S. agriculture have involved members of ISASH or its predecessors, including: slow-moving vehicle emblem; emergency farm rescue; rollover protective structures; assistive technologies for disabled farmers; and hand signals.

2012-2013 ISASH Board of Directors: George Cook, University of Vermont (president); Chris Shivers, Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation (president-elect); Ann Carruth, Southeast Louisiana University; Mike DeSpain, John Deere; Karen Funkenbusch, University of Missouri; Bernard Geschke, Progressive Agriculture Foundation; Bruce Johnson, Farm and Ranch Safety and Health Association; Marsha Purcell, American Farm Bureau Federation; and Deb Reed, University of Kentucky. Ex-Officio to the board: Nancy Hetzel (treasurer); Chip Petrea, University of Illinois (secretary).