2016 Canadian Agricultural Safety Week Focuses on Kids

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March 13-19, 2016 is Canadian Agricultural Safety Week, which is aimed at raising awareness of health and safety issues in the farming industry. The Canadian Agricultural Safety Association (CASA) and the Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) have launched a new three-year campaign entitled “Be an AgSafe Family.”

So this Canadian Agricultural Safety Week, the focus is “Keeping Kids Safe.” Next year, the CASA and CFA will focus on adults and, in 2018, on seniors.

Because children often work on family-run farms, they’re exposed to the same safety risks as other farm workers and so need to be adequately protected.

For example, a 10-year-old boy was driving a forklift on his family’s farm in rural Alberta when he lost control of the machine on a gravel road. It went into a ditch and then rolled. He suffered serious injuries and died at the scene.

To determine if a child is ready to perform a particular farm task such as operating powered mobile equipment, the North American Guidelines for Children’s Agricultural Tasks give parents, caregivers and others a clear decision-making framework for the 10 tasks most frequently associated with injuries to children:

  1. Driving a Farm Tractor
  2. Farming with an ATV
  3. Farmstead Equipment
  4. Feeding Hay to Cows
  5. Leading or Grooming Animals
  6. Repairing Fence
  7. Trailed Implements Fieldwork
  8. Unloading Hay
  9. Using a Front End Loader
  10. Working with Large Animals.

These guidelines are intended for children ages 7-16 who live or work on farms and ranches. They’re based on childhood development, agricultural practices, principles of childhood injury and agricultural safety.

In addition, here’s a checklist you can use to assess any safety hazards on your farm that children or others could be exposed to, identify the corrective actions necessary to address those hazards and document the completion of those actions.