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Farm safety week theme geared towards adults

Farm safety week theme geared towards adults

This March, the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association, with the Canadian Federation of Agriculture is  celebrating Canadian Agricultural Safety Week (CASW). This is the second year of the “Be an AgSafe Family” theme.

In 2017, CASW is “Appealing to Adults.”

What does that mean? Well, statistics show that each year approximately 85 Canadians are killed in an agriculture-related incident. These statistics, made available through Canadian Agricultural Injury Reporting, provide a snapshot of what’s killing farmers. Runovers, rollovers and being pinned or struck are the top way Canadians are dying on farms.

What does a death of a farmer mean? How does this impact the farm? The family? The community? The nation?

First of all, the death of a family member is horrific. The world stops. Grief, anger, and sadness all set in. Hearts are broken and relationships are ended in an instant. This is the real emotional impact of the loss.

For the family, the death means losing a little of themselves. It means missing those big moments.  Weddings, births and graduations.

It also means missing those little moments. Morning coffee around the kitchen table, truck rides to check the crops, and laughter around a bonfire.

The emotional impact of  a death due to a farm-related incident has real consequences for the people left behind.

Second, the death could mean the end of the farming operation. Dollar-wise, the estimated economic impact to the farm is around $275,000. Can your farm absorb that kind of economic impact?

Do you have almost $300,000 in the bank, in cash, to cover the cost of a death? Then what? Do you have a plan in place in case the unthinkable happens? Who takes the crop off? Who fixes the machines? Who plans the future of the farm?

The cost of a death due to an agriculture-related incident doesn’t stop at the gates of the farm.

Canada also suffers when a farmer is lost due to an agriculture-related injury.

Agriculture is a major  driver in the Canadian economy. According to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, in 2013 the Canadian agriculture and agri-food system generated $106.9 billion.

Thriving, safe and healthy Canadian farms are a vital part of these exports.

So what can we do? There is great news! Unintentional agriculture-related farm fatalities are preventable. This Canadian Agricultural Safety Week, make a commitment to your farm, your family and yourself.

Start by developing a general policy for safety and health on the farm. Decide what your health and safety philosophy is. Talk about what the objectives are for keeping the farm safe.

Share your commitment to preventing injury and illness. This is this first step in developing an overall farm safety and health plan for your operation.

Submitted by the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association

March 10, 2017


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