Next week, March 12-18, 2017 is Canadian Agricultural Safety Week, which is intended to raise awareness of health and safety issues in the farming industry. The focus of this year’s campaign is on appealing to adults (kids were the focus last year).
Why is there a whole week devoted to safety in this particular industry? Because safety on farms, ranches, etc. is a serious issue but doesn’t get the attention that it does in industries such as construction and mining.
Canada is the fifth largest agricultural exporter in the world. But did you know that an average of 84 Canadians are killed each year in agriculture-related incidents? Here are a few examples:
- Several farm workers in Ontario were catching and crating chickens. As they loaded the crates onto a trailer, a supervisor moved the trailer forward to make room for more crates. After the trailer had been moved, a worker was found crushed to death under its rear wheels. The farm was convicted of failing to ensure that the operator of the moving vehicle was competent and/or properly licensed and was fined $80,000 [KD Farm Services, Govt. News Release, Oct. 18, 2011].
- In the Yukon, a contractor, who’d been hired to capture wild horses by the Agriculture Branch of Energy Mines and Resources, suffered a fatal head injury when a horse rolled over him. After an investigation, the Agriculture Branch was fined $5,000 for failing to establish a complete OHS program [Yukon Agriculture Branch and Dan Sabo, Govt. News Release, Jan. 26, 2015].
- A farm worker in Saskatchewan died after entering a grain bin to knock down grain that may have gotten stuck to the sides of the bin. The farm pleaded guilty to three OHS violations and was fined $32,200 [D.M. Bryan Farms Ltd., Govt. News Release, April 3, 2012].
The OHS Insider has agriculture-specific resources you can use to keep your farm and ranch workers safe, including:
- Spot the Safety Violations on confined spaces (such as grain silos) and risk of drowning (such as in a cranberry bog)
- A checklist you can use to assess safety hazards on your farm, identify the corrective actions necessary to address those hazards and document the completion of those actions
- Another checklist you can use to assess the safety of your barn in terms of preventing fires
- A mobile equipment safety checklist you can use for tractors
- A farm safety contract for kids and parents.
Want access to all the Canadian safety compliance resources that the OHS Insider has to offer for agriculture and other industries, including articles, infographics, tools and other resources? Sign up for a free trial membership now!