301 W. Franklin Street
Taylorville, IL 62568
CALL 911 FOR EMERGENCY
FROM THE SHERIFF’S DESK VOL. 2, NUMBER 8
By Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp
HARVEST TIME IS ALMOST HERE
Farming is one of the 10 most dangerous jobs in America. In fact it ranks 4th in the list of the 10 most dangerous work categories.
Of course, it is a very large industry. The data for 2010 indicated 1,823,000 full-time workers being employed in agriculture production in the United States. In this same year, work-related injuries caused the deaths of 476 farmers and farm workers – a fatality rate of 26.1 deaths per 100,000 workers.
The US Department of Agriculture estimates there are about 200 disabling injuries or deaths annually in Illinois. Fortunately, thanks to many organizations’ efforts in supplying information and training, the number of deaths has been decreasing.
For example, grain bin accidents used to be a substantial number in the country, and Illinois was often the leader.
But after last year’s National Farm Safety and Health Week campaign which focused on identifying, understanding and avoiding these threats, the number dropped to just 1.
This year’s national program is "Agricultural Safety and Health: A Family Affair." The focus is on insuring that all family members, primarily children, are kept safe and sound around farm machinery and other equipment.
One reason these problems are so many is that the number of hazardous activities and threats faced by those in the farming industry are large in number and growing. In addition to the hazardous tools and machinery that are so common, farm workers may face such things as farm accidents, chemical exposure, tractor rollovers, roadway collisions, electrocution, pesticide exposure, and more.
And even though the rate of nonfatal occupational injuries has been declining in agriculture, the injury rates consistently exceed those of other industries
Complicating the issue is the fact that a statewide program which helps farmers who have been injured on the job has been hit with state budget cuts. AgrAbility is an Illinois program which was established in 1990 to help farmers who have had disabling injuries. They are trying to make up the missing funds through public and corporate donations. They are also trying to secure a federal grant to gain the financial help needed for the program.
Fortunately, there are several excellent organizations and programs that can help educate and strengthen the people in the industry. One very large and very informative training document is the Agricultural Safety and Health Best Management Practices, from the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety.
It is a very full 160-page reference tool. You can view it and download if you wish, but be patient. It’s over 240 megabytes in PDF format. You can find it athttp://www.necasag.org/pdf/hsmag.pdf and check it out.
Another important warning: Just ten days ago a terrible accident occurred, resulting in the deaths of two of the vehicles’ occupants. The cause was something that any of us who live in a rural community have faced. And with the harvest moving up this year, we’re going to be dealing with it for a while longer.
Here’s what happened. Two vehicles were approaching an intersection. One was a semi heading west and the other was a van heading south. It was a blind intersection without any traffic symbols or signs. Before the harvest is completed, it is often very difficult to see any traffic entering such an area. There were no stop signs at the intersection, and the height of the corn crop was sufficient to prevent either driver from having a clear view of the incoming traffic. All of the van’s occupants received injuries, including one immediate fatality at the scene. A second occupant died on the next day from the injuries suffered.
I want to remind all motorists to use extreme caution when approaching all rural intersections, especially those with obstructed views. Please come to a complete stop before proceeding through them.
ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS INSPECTION RESULTS
Illinois law authorizes the Department of Corrections to inspect county jails and to make the results available for public review.
This year’s review was conducted on July 10th by Criminal Justice Specialist Brad Besson. He interviewed Jail Administrator Andrew Nelson and conducted an inspection of the Correctional Center.
A copy of his summary report is posted on our Sheriff’s website at"www.christiancountysheriffsoffice.com" for public review.
The principal conclusions were:
The acquisition of a health care provider (ACH) was a very worthwhile improvement. They will provide all healthcare needs for the detainees plus information regarding training for the staff.
Our monthly newspaper report, From the Sheriff’s Desk, was complimented for bringing transparency to the citizens of the county. The reviewer felt that the activities reported included in these articles give a detailed and valuable picture of our performance levels.
Our staffing situation, worsened by on-going budgetary issues, remains a concern. We did hire one new full-time and one new part-time staff member, but we are still in need of additional staffing and will work to find a solution for this problem.
We now have disposable transportation suits for detainee transport. This will reduce the overall time officers spend at the intake facility after transferring custody of prisoners to the Illinois Department of Corrections.
We are presently looking into ways of providing TB testing to all new inmates at the Correctional Center.
I am pleased to see these excellent results and want to extend my thanks to the dedicated Correction Officers for their on-going efforts and hard work.
Department Activity for the last 5 months: