Get with the plan – Canadian Agricultural Safety Week

by Kim Waalderbos

This week farmers are being reminded to ‘Get with the plan!’ – the farm safety plan, that is. It’s all part of Canadian Agricultural Safety Week, held this year from March 10-16th. The week kicks off with events held at farms across Canada.

The farm and food care industry is a key primary industry in Canada, and also one of the most dangerous. Canadian Agricultural Injury Reporting (CAIR) shows that 1,975 farm-related deaths occurred between 1990 and 2008. Of those deaths, 47 per cent were farmer/owner operator, and 14 per cent were their children. CAIR also found 14,830 individuals were admitted to hospital because of agricultural injuries between 1990 and 2000 (the last years injury data was readily collected).

In a recent survey, the majority of Canadian farmers (85 per cent) say safety is a priority on their farm, but less than one in ten have a written agricultural safety plan on their farm or ranch. This week, the spotlight is on and farmers are being encouraged to use free resources like www.planfarmsafety.cato make their own customized, written, farm safety plan. With a plan, farmers can identify hazards on the farm, control them, outline emergency actions, conduct training and monitor incidents.

According to the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association, machinery is involved in 70 per cent of farming fatalities in Canada, with rollovers (mainly tractors) being the top ranked cause of fatality. (Source of photo is unknown)

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