Let’s Talk About It! Farm Safety Week kicks off

Safety should always be top of mind when working on a farm, however the topic is even bigger this week.

Let’s Talk About It!  is the theme the Canadian Agriculture Safety Association has adopted for this year’s Agriculture Safety Week.

Agriculture for Life is acting on that slogan by hosting a number of events.  It is teaming with CASA this week in an effort to drive home the message of the importance of farm safety to kids in the Kindergarten to Grade 9 age range.

Ag for Life Director Development and Communications Luree Williamson tells Rural Roots Canada there will be three safety days being held this week in Olds, Iron Springs and Grande Prairie.

“A lot of the stations will be set up with important key messages around with large equipment safety, power line safety, underground infrastructure, chemical safety a lot of that hazards in farm areas and rural areas for the kids to go through the safety stations,” said Williamson.

The safety days will happen in Olds on March 11th, Iron Springs on the 12th and March 14th in Grande Prairie.

It’s expected that 400 students will take part in the safety days in the three communities.

Ag For Life founding members Rocky Mountain Equipment and TransCanada Corporation are among those delivering safety messages to students.

Coinciding with all of the events for kids in Olds on the 11th, will be an event for producers at the Pomeroy Hotel.

The luncheon will kick off Safety Week with several speakers, which will include people who have been involved in farm accidents, a CASA representative and Ag For Life CEO David Sprague.

They will also be holding a training session for producers to talk about safety training for seasonal workers.

“As more and more farms and ranches are bringing in seasonal workers to help them through the seasons there’s a lot of issues that need to be addressed.  One of them, in one circumstance, is youth.  A lot of these workers are young and haven’t been on the farm so they are a little bit inexperienced and we need to take time to educate these young workers on hazards.   Another barrier or could be a potential barrier is language, more and more farms and ranches bring in workers that speak a different language then the farm managers do and these managers need to take the time to make sure that they articulate safe messages to that audience.”

The Canadian Federation of Agriculture is a major partner with the Canadian Agriculture Safety Association.

In a statement, CFA President Ron Bonnett says it’s important to stop and reflect on the dangers on your farm.

“It’s human nature to think ‘it won’t happen to me,’ but unfortunately it can, especially if we continue on with this approach. Taking preventative, proactive measures is one of the best things we can do for our farm and workers. We hope that through safety week and through hearing from other farmers about their experiences, we shed some light on the necessity of farm safety and practical ways to make it happen on the farm,” said Bonnett.

For more on agriculture safety week visit the Agriculture For Life and Canadian Agricuiture Safety Week websites.