Farm Safety Roundup, Ep 8: Staying safe when working around and handling chemicals

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Farms are workplaces where interaction with several classes of chemicals is inevitable. Chemicals can enter the body in different ways: through inhalation, absorption, ingestion and injection, so it’s important for farmers and farm workers to understand the risk associated with each type of chemical and how to avoid exposure whenever possible.

For this episode of the Farm Safety Roundup, host Shaun Haney is joined by Nicole Sherman, health and safety consultant with Workplace Safety and Prevention Services, to cover the various chemicals used in farming, and emphasizing the need to identify and understand chemical hazards.

Sherman highlights the importance of proper labeling, inventory management, emergency response planning, and access to safety data sheets (SDS) to protect workers from chemical exposure. She also stresses the need for farms to have a comprehensive safety plan in place to prevent accidents and ensure the well-being of workers.

While avoiding any exposure is the goal, when chemicals do have to be dispensed or used Sherman says it’s key to use appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and to properly label and store chemicals, avoiding the use of food/drink containers, to avoid accidental exposure or ingestion.

From April 1, 2024 to March 31, 2025, Ministry of Labour Immigration, Training and Skills Development (MLITSD) hygienists will conduct a campaign focused on worker exposure to chemical agents in the workplace and Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) compliance.

Learn more on MLTISD inspections and what you need to do visit: Ministry of Labour Inspection Preparation and Support | WSPS.

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