Promotion Facilitator Alberta Health Services
Farming can be a very rewarding lifestyle. But farms can also be dangerous. By building a culture of safety, being educated about working safely in a rural environment and implementing safety practices, most injuries can be avoided
In Alberta, approximately three children die each year in farm related incidents according to the Injury Prevention Centre. The most common causes are drowning, equipment rollovers, or being run over by farm equipment. Although you can’t eliminate all of the hazards of living on a farm, there are ways to make it a safe place for your children. First of all, younger children playing outside should stay within certain boundaries and be provided with sufficient supervision.
Make sure your children know what areas of the farm to stay away from. Ensure any hazardous areas like grain bins or silos, areas with heavy equipment, or bodies of water are off limits to children. Lock hazardous materials in storage to keep curious children away.
Identify hazards on the farm by completing a hazard assessment. Hazard assessments are a way to identify physical hazards like machinery, chemical hazards like pesticides or solvents, biological hazards like bacteria or viruses, or psychosocial hazards like the long days spent working on the farm or stress. The results of the assessment will then allow the farmer to be able to determine steps to take to ensure everyone on the farm stays safe.
When training new employees, ensure they know that health and safety are major priorities to you and your family. Communicate safe work policies and procedures with them and provide appropriate training. Review job descriptions and duties with them regularly so they know their role and responsibilities. Farmers can also have safety talks before starting out in the morning to make everyone aware of potential hazards they may encounter throughout the day.
Information can be found at www.myhealth.alberta.ca or call 811.