Kids who grow up on farms have a unique experience because their homes are more than just places to live and play: they’re also worksites.
“Many of our young people work on family farms around livestock and operate equipment, and they may not fully understand the potential hazards,” says Gina Haambuckers, communications and marketing coordinator of 4-H British Columbia.
“These youth may lack access to formal safety training and safety meetings that are a typical part of the work day in other sectors, but not on many smaller family farms.”
Each year in Canada, more than 100 people lose their lives in farm-related accidents, and nearly 10 percent of them are under 18. Tractors and other mobile equipment are among the biggest hazards – both to people operating them and to any kids living and playing in the places they’re used. To get a sense of the risk, consider that 2,700 agriculture workers were injured in B.C. during the past five years, and 16 percent of these injuries were caused by tractors and other mobile equipment.
New videos raise awareness
4-H BC launched two new videos at their 2016 Leaders Conference in Kelowna on October 14. They teamed up with WorkSafeBC, AgSafeBC, and the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture to create these videos that will be shown at 150 4-H clubs throughout the province. Audiences at the clubs include nearly 3,000 young people between the ages of six and 21, along with thousands of volunteer leaders, families, alumni, and sponsors.
The videos’ message is relevant beyond B.C. as well, offering these key safety points:
* Read and follow the user’s manual for all farm equipment
* Wear high-visibility apparel when working around farm equipment
* Always keep three points of contact when getting on and off equipment
* Ensure all power take-off shields and guards are maintained and in place
* Ensure the tractor’s roll-over protection structures are up and always wear your seatbelt