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Many of us love to spend Saturday mornings wandering through local markets, purchasing local produce at the grocery store or visiting local farms. It’s great to think about all the fresh, healthy food available to us thanks to Canadian farmers and ranchers but we don’t often think about the occupational hazards that exist for them. Working with livestock, being outdoors in all weather, lifting, shovelling etc. all carry occupational hazards. The largest hazard continues to be farm machinery.
According to the Canada Safety Council:
“70 per cent of agricultural fatalities are machine-related due to machine rollovers, runovers and entanglements. (Overall) From 1990 to 2008, an average of 104 people died every year from agricultural incidents in Canada (and) Agriculture ranks the fourth most hazardous industry in Canada, with 12.9 deaths per 100,000 farm population.”
This week is Canadian Agricultural Safety Week (CASW) and the 2013 theme is “Get with the Plan!” encouraging farmers to create a safety program that will help keep them safe where they work and also where many live.
The Canadian Agricultural Safety Association (CASA), the non-profit farm safety association that promotes and manages CASW says, “Written safety plans enable farmers to identify hazards on the farm, and control them via standard operating procedures, outlining emergency actions, and conducting training and investigating incidents, while also putting in place systems for communicating safety-related responsibilities and monitoring the farm for future hazards.”
Hazards present on a farm affect those who live, work and visit. Here are some resources to help you create a safety plan for your farm or ranch, and tips to keep safe:
The Canadian Agricultural Safety Association (CASA) Find information, resources and tools to help you build a safety program for your farm or ranch.
Canadian Agricultural Safety Week (CASW) Find more information about CASW. Canada Safety Council Find a list of tips to keep your farm or ranch safe for those living there, working there and visiting.
Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture (NSFA) Find local safety events during CASW as well as ongoing local events and resources throughout the year.