Get with the plan during agricultural safety week

i love agriculture

Canadian Agricultural Safety Week runs March 10-16, 2013. It is a national farm safety public education campaign focusing on the importance of farm safety practices.

The national theme is “Get with the Plan!” It follows up CASA’s three-year theme: “Plan | Farm | Safety” which encouraged agricultural producers to research and develop written farm safety plans for their operation.

I talked with Nicole Hornett, farm safety coordinator (South Region) with Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development.

“Here in Alberta, we’re continuing our ‘I Have a Role’ campaign to highlight communication this year. Everyone has a role in successful safety communication on the farm,” Nicole said via email, quoting this CASA stat from 2012. “For example, fatigue is a major factor on farms. Human error is typically at the root of 85% of farm-related incidences – the majority of those errors stemming from fatigue.”

Good communication forms a solution – including suitable schedules for completing work and encouraging workers to keep each other up to date, track their progress, and let others know if something changes.

“One of the interactive ways the Alberta Farm Safety Program is focusing on the importance of communication is by developing a new machinery blind spot activity for rural youth and new workers,” Nicole said. “Various toy-sized farm equipment props are placed on a farmscape mat, then participants are encouraged to identify where the operator could/couldn’t see them. Once identified, the discussion flows towards the best methods to get an operator’s attention through selecting safe locations to stand, using universal hand-signals as a method to communicate or deciding if they can wait until the operator’s next break.”

Watch for Nicole’s daily updates to I Love Agriculture on Facebook during Farm Safety Week. She’s hoping to get some conversations going – so please add your thoughts.

Read Agricultural Safety Week wants farmers to ‘Get with the Plan’ in OHS Canada on this annual safety event.


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