We’re right in the middle of Agriculture Safety Week.
The province wants to use this week to remind everyone before the major shift in seasonal weather to take proper precautions before getting heavily involved in farming practices.
According to the department of Occupational Health and Safety, “Agriculture is one of Saskatchewan's largest and most hazardous industries. Incidents occur more often during critical farming times. They can cause needless suffering and consequently reduce farm revenues.”
“There are risks in farming and ranching and we want to remind our province’s producers to take the steps necessary to keep themselves and their families safe,” Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart said when marking the beginning of safety week. “Agriculture safety should be a priority to ensure the continued success of the industry.”
Growing up in a rural community, I can remember hearing stories and warnings from adults when performing work on the farm and in the fields. I know firsthand how agricultural safety standards have improved with great leaps and bounds, but it’s still as important as ever for the experienced person to lead the way in farm safety by showing the younger generation proper safety and not passing along potentially dangerous habits.
The provincial safety week coincides with the rest of Canada, and this year’s theme is, ‘Get with the Plan,’ which according to the province, “focuses on encouraging farmers to develop written health and safety plans for their operations.”
The province believes, “an effective written farm safety plan that identifies and implements measures to eliminate hazards will help protect you, your employees, and your family – not to mention prevent financial loss due to accidents.”
“The health and safety of farmers and farm employees is a priority for the Ministry of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety,” Workplace Safety Minister Don Morgan said. “Each year, approximately 14 people are killed and many others are injured on farms in incidents that could have been prevented. Our Farm Safety Program works with many partners to prevent injuries and to promote safe work practices on the farm through public education and resources.”
According to the province, “Only one in ten Canadian agricultural producers has a written farm safety plan,” so why not put good practice to paper and start the new season with proper safety and preparedness.