Is farm safety a priority for you?

Mar 19, 2024

This week is Canadian Agricultural Safety Week!

This year's theme is Your Farm, Your Family, Your Success: Safety is our Heritage.

Agriculture is considered by many to be one of the most dangerous occupations.

That's because farms and ranches are not just worksites, but places where producers live with their families, young children and seniors.

Stats show that from 2011 to 2020 Canada recorded 624 agriculture-related fatalities 58 per cent of those killed were farm operators while 11 per cent were their children.

 Andrea Lear, the chief executive officer for the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association (CASA) says there is no question that farm accidents can have a devastating toll with physical, psychological, and financial consequences.

"We also know that many on-farm incidents are preventable. That’s why we want to provide Canadian producers with the tools and resources they need to protect the health and safety of everyone who lives and works on or visits farms and ranches.  Canadian Agricultural Safety Week serves as a reminder that farm safety is important year-round and that by working together, we can ensure a safer agricultural sector."
CASA's Director of Programs and Communications Robin Anderson says safety should always be a top priority.

"We know that we see about 65 deaths related to agriculture every year. That number has dropped, we are absolutely seeing declines in those rates, but that's still incredibly high for an industry."

She notes it's important to focus on the kids and making sure they are safe as a large number of runover fatalities involve children aged 1 to 4.

CASA encourages producers to take the time to teach children who live on, or visit the farm age-appropriate tasks, establish boundaries, and provide supervision. Lead by example by modelling safe practices and building traditions that involve safety.

Anderson says the fatality rate for children is higher than any other age group until you get to age 60.

This year, CASA is focusing on providing practical safety advice and encouraging conversations about farm safety while showcasing how safety directly contributes to the success and sustainability of farming operations.

Anderson notes when it comes to Safety you need to start with yourself and your family.

" So that means having adequate sleep, good nutrition, drinking, plenty of water and checking in with each other. That is at the very basic level. you know, if you're, if you, you maintain your machine right, you make sure that your equipment is good to go. But you also have to make sure you're ready to go, that you're in the best condition that you can be.  Can work through that busy season."

CASA reminds producers that in the rush of trying to get things done, it's easy to take shortcuts but those shortcuts can be costly - resulting in a loss of time or a loss of life.

Anderson says it's important to take time out and put a Farm Safety plan in place, considering all areas of concern and how to deal with them.

To hear Glenda-Lee's interview with CASA's Robin Anderson click on the link below.

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