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Agricultural workers face a lot of risks on the job, which will be addressed at the seminar.

Whether operating large farm equipment or spraying chemicals, agricultural workers face a lot of risks on the job.

That's why the State Accident Insurance Fund is bringing its free ag safety seminars to 16 cities across Oregon, including Madras, this fall and winter. The first of 28 seminars will be held Oct. 30, in Ontario and they will continue through March. Nine seminars will be presented entirely in Spanish.

The full schedule, registration details, and the list of speakers can be found at saif.com/agseminars. People can also register by calling 800-285-8525.

"We see about 1,500 injuries in the ag industry a year," said Reva Hartenstein, senior safety management consultant at SAIF. "We created these seminars to help reduce those numbers; our goal is for every ag worker to go home safe and healthy each night."

This year's sessions will focus on four safety topics: training new employees, best practices for chemical use, conscious decision-making, and safe driving on and off the farm.

"Motor vehicle accidents account for some of the most severe injuries in the ag industry, and across Oregon industries," said Hartenstein.  

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.

Each of the one-hour seminar topics will be presented via webinar on March 12, 14, 19, and 21. Participants are encouraged, and required if seeking an exemption for random OSHA inspections, to watch all four presentations. The webinars will be available at saif.com/training.

Each seminar is held from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and includes lunch.

In-person seminars will be in Madras, Bandon, Central Point, Clackamas, Corvallis, Eugene, Hermiston, Hillsboro, Hood River, Klamath Falls, La Grande, 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.

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

The Landscape Contractors Board has approved the seminar for three hours of technical and one hour of business continuing education credits. The Department of Consumer and Business Services has also approved producer continuing education credit hours for licensed insurance agents.

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