A New Season, a Renewed Commitment to Safety — Staying Safe on the Road and in the Field


Zero should be every farm’s goal when it comes to number of injuries or accidents during seeding — how do you make that a reality?

Tractors, trucks and seeding equipment across the country are starting to roll for #plant15, and with another busy season comes an elevated risk of injuries and fatalities on farms. Unfortunately, farming remains one of the most dangerous occupations in North America. In Alberta alone, it was reported last week that the province’s chief medical examiner investigated 25 deaths related to agriculture in 2014.

One risk area, especially in spring, is the movement of large, slow equipment between farms and fields. In Manitoba this week, Keystone Agricultural Producers issued a reminder to motorists to be patient when encountering farm equipment on roads and highways.

“We’re asking motorists to remember to share the roads in a safe manner,” said KAP president Dan Mazier. “That means slowing down to determine how fast the equipment is going, then following at a safe distance until you can pass.

“And please ensure the equipment is not turning or changing lanes before you pass – and make a wide pass when it’s safe to do so.”

Farmers must also take responsibility for their equipment on the road and use appropriate lighting, noted Mazier.

So whether it’s on the road or in the field, what can you do to make sure everybody working on your farm stays safe this season?

Here are some articles with ideas and perspectives on farm safety:

  1. 5 Ways to Make Your Farm Safety Program a Success —  Make sure you’re not just giving lip service to safety, but that it’s part of the fabric of your farm’s operational success and lifeblood. Here are five things you can do as a farm owner today to give your farm safety program higher visibility with staff and enable your employees to work reassured.
  2. It’s Farm Safety Week! The Challenge for One Meaningful Change — What’s one change you could make on your farm that would move the needle on safety? Farmers weigh-in with their suggestions.
  3. ATV Rider Safety Just One Part of a Farm Safety Plan — Jeff Shaw of Manitoba Workplace Safety & Health talks about ATV rider safety at Manitoba Ag Days.
  4. What to Do if You Contact a Power Line — Preventing power line contact is obviously the best strategy for on-farm electrical safety, but do you know what to do if — for whatever reason — your implement hits a line?
  5. Safety Concerns With Equipment? Tell the Manufacturer — The Canadian Agricultural Safety Association (CASA) has created an online form where producers can share their safety concerns about equipment.

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