A Guide to Safe Farming Practices - Diamond and Diamond Lawyers
  • Friday, 17 March 2017

A Guide to Safe Farming Practices

#AskMichaelBlois

Canadian Agricultural Safety Week (CASW) is the third week in March each year.  This year, CASW begins on March 12 and continues through March 18.  The focus of CASW this year is “Be An AgSafe Family.” The campaign’s goal is to reduce the number of farming injuries by promoting safe farming practices.

Many Canadians would not guess that farming jobs are some of the most dangerous jobs available. Statistics about farm injuries in Canada that may surprise some people include:

  • Farming is the third most hazardous industry in Canada.
  • The agriculture industry has more fatalities than any other industry.
  • Males sustained 91% of agricultural fatalities.
  • From 2003 to 2012, 843 people died in farm-related accidents.
  • Agricultural machines are a factor in almost 71% of farming accident deaths.
  • Each year, farm-related accidents result in 1,499 serious injuries.
  • Farming is an industry where family members are at a high risk of injury or death due to the number of family farms in operation.

According to the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association (CASA), 85% of Canadian producers polled believe safety is a priority.  However, only nine percent of farms have a written agricultural safety plan in place to protect owners, employees, and others.

Keeping Everyone Safe on A Farm

The farming industry encompasses family farmers, industrial farms, and small farms. Each of these types of farms must take steps to protect everyone on the farm from injury. In some cases, the size of the farm poses unique safety concerns.

For example, on industrial farms, some machinery can be very large and complex. Additional safety procedures may be necessary to protect people from harm. On the other hand, on a family farm, owners must take special precautions to protect children from wandering into dangerous areas.

Safety tips that all farmers can use when developing a safety plan include:

  • Use Safety Gear and Dress Appropriately – Everyone should wear gloves, safety eyewear, heavy boots, and ear protection as necessary. Under some conditions, wearing respirators and face masks are required to protect workers from chemicals or other hazards. In addition to using safety gear, do not wear loose clothing or dangling jewelry. Clothing should offer an additional protective layer.
  • Training – Each person working on the farm should have proper training, including special training for any equipment the person is using. Inexperienced and improperly trained farm workers increase the risk of a farm injury or death.
  • Equipment Maintenance – All farming equipment must be maintained in top operating condition. Equipment that is not maintained can be dangerous and increase the risk of a farming accident. Furthermore, any worker operating equipment should receive special training to ensure safe operation of the equipment.
  • First Aid – First aid supplies should be in several different areas of the farm. Because hospitals and emergency medical care may not be available in rural areas, special first aid equipment, such as a defibrillator is wise.

The Canada Safety Council and Workplace Safety & Prevention Service offer resources for developing a farm safety plan to prevent farm accidents.

Have You Suffered a Farm Injury?

The team of lawyers at Diamond and Diamond have experience handling personal injury cases involving farming accidents. Call our 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit our website to speak to someone now. We offer free consultations and case evaluations. Our law firm has 12 offices to serve clients throughout Ontario.

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