SALEM — Farm work is a whole lot safer than it used to be. But as far as SAIF is concerned, even one injury or illness is too many.

That’s why SAIF is offering 29 free ag safety seminars in 17 cities across Oregon. The first will be in La Grande on Oct. 28, and they’ll continue through March. Nine of the seminars will be presented entirely in Spanish. Last year, more than 2,180 workers and employers attended SAIF’s seminars.

“We purposely hold these in the off-season to encourage attendance,” said Courtney Merriott, senior safety management consultant at SAIF and presenter at this year’s seminars. “Our goal is to provide the latest safety content for the industry, so that every ag worker goes home safe and healthy each night.”

This year’s seminars will focus on four topics: respiratory personal protective equipment, working at elevation, safety leadership for anyone, and incident analysis — a structured process for identifying what happened and reducing recurrence of injuries moving forward.

In March, SAIF will also offer webinars online in English and, new this year, Spanish.

The seminars are designed primarily for people working in agriculture but are open to anyone interested in ag safety and health — they don’t have to be insured by SAIF.

In-person seminars will be held in Bandon, Central Point, Clackamas, Corvallis, Eugene, Hermiston, Hillsboro, Hood River, Klamath Falls, La Grande, Madras, Milton-Freewater, Ontario, Salem, The Dalles, Wilsonville, and Woodburn.

Spanish seminars will be held in Central Point, Eugene, Hermiston, Hillsboro, Hood River, Salem, The Dalles, Wilsonville, and Woodburn.

All will run from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and lunch will be provided.

Employers with small ag businesses who attend the seminar, or watch the webinars, will meet OSHA’s instructional requirement — one of four requirements that exempt small agricultural operations from random OSHA inspections.

Three hours of technical and one hour of business continuing education credits will be offered if approved by the Landscape Contractors Board. Producer continuing education credit hours for licensed insurance agents have been requested and are pending approval by the Department of Consumer and Business Services.

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