Farming and agriculture organizations are encouraging all Canadians to promote farm safety as a part of Canadian Agricultural Safety Week presented by Farm Credit Canada, which runs from March 15 to 21.
Canadian Agricultural Safety Week is an annual public education campaign focusing on the importance of safe agriculture. This year’s theme is "Be the Difference," and organizers want to inspire all Canadians to become farm safety champions through feature champion testimonials, farmer resources and a social media contest.
“This year, we are focusing on the power of the positive. We know that we need to engage with all Canadians to make farms safer places to work and live,” said Marcel Hacault, executive director of the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association. “We’re encouraging all Canadians to become farm safety champions. Health-care providers, teachers, agri-business leaders, community members and farmers all play an important role in promoting farm safety.”
According to the Ontario Ministry of Labour, farmers can improve farm safety by:
•providing employees with proper agricultural equipment/machinery training to reduce on job accidents
•following safe farm vehicle procedures including proper lighting, speed limits and appropriate signalling
•preventing musculoskeletal disorders by ensuring staff take breaks from repetitive work and long hours
•familiarizing themselves with heat stress and knowing the steps to prevent it.
“As a farmer myself and in the role as president at the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, I see the importance of farm safety firsthand — on my farm and for farms across Canada,” said Ron Bonnett. “Injuries on the farm are no joke, and they happen much more often than they should. We need to work together so that farm safety is acknowledged as important and change ensues."
Currently in its 10th year, Canadian Agricultural Safety Week takes place every year during the third week of March.