Ecole Routhier school to host farm safety workshops

Express Staff


Students at Ecole Routhier in Falher will get the opportunity to learn about safety issues and hazards around farming operations.
Representatives for the Raymond-based Farm Safety Centre will be at the school on Jan. 20 & 21.
They will hold a series of activities for all grades, with age appropriate content.
“In response to a recently released 20 year study of agriculture-related injuries and fatalities in Alberta, we have updated the focus of many “Safety Smarts” presentations to ensure that the safety concepts we teach respond to the real risks being encountered by rural children,” says the organization in a news release.
“The majority of non-work related fatalities on Alberta farms involve children and youth (0-14 years).”
Here is a brief look at some of the content that will be featured at the workshops.
Kindergarten Presentation: Theme “One Seat – One Rider”
The instructor uses a “Casey Careful Critter” puppet, farm machinery models and pictures/short video to introduce the children to farm safety and how important it is to play safely on the farm.
The rule “One Seat One Rider” is emphasized. “What Happens in the Barn” story is shared with the children.
Grade One Presentation: Theme “To Stay Safe – Play Safe”
Grade 1 begins with a brief review of the kindergarten presentation. Farm machinery models are used to visually highlight specific hazards. The book “What If?” is read to the children. The children then go on a visual “Hazard Hunt” which identifies hazardous areas found on all working farms. During this visual “Walk About – Talk About” students are taught to evaluate whether the situation is safe or not and to ask an adult if they are not sure.
Grade Two Presentation: Theme “Boats Float – I Don’t”
Grade 2 begins with a brief review of previous presentations. A videoed personal experience introduces the children to the reality of rural drowning risks. The instructor presents various drowning risk discussions through a game called “Boats Float Bingo”.
Still shots and short video clips, enable meaningful discussions of identified rural drowning risks. Images are displayed on each child’s Bingo card. By the end of the game there is a blackout on every card, so the entire class gets a “BINGO” and all students are safety winners.
Grade Three Presentation: Theme “Hear Hear – Listen Up”
Grade 3 begins with a brief review of previous presentations. The children are then introduced to a rural risk they have probably never thought about – hearing safety.
This risk is more intangible than those previously discussed and begins a transition into more situational based presentations where children are taught that through their choices they can control consequences. Using ear models, posters, pictures/video clips children are shown how the ear works, how sound travels to the ear and how sound is measured.
A sound level meter is used to demonstrate different decibel levels produced by machinery, animals, vehicles etc. Students are taught that sounds that are too loud, for too long, or too often cause sound induced hearing loss. Children help graph the decibel levels/exposure time/frequency of farm sounds.
Each student gets the opportunity to wear ear protectors and measure sounds with the sound level meter.
Grade Four Presentation: Theme “It Can Happen To Me”
Grade 4 begins with a brief review of previous presentations.
A number of farm safety concepts are reinforced. The age of these students allows more in depth discussion.
Depending on the class size, either four or five teams play “Splat” a farm safety jeopardy game which encourages discussion and allows reinforcement of safety messages.
Grade Five Presentation: Theme “Get a Grip – Safety’s in My Hands”
Grade 5 begins with a brief review of previous presentations.
Throughout this presentation emphasis is placed on decision making, personal boundaries and the importance of prevention. This presentation focuses on rider related falls and collisions. Students are divided into four or five teams to play “Don’t Press Your Luck.” This fast paced game encourages involvement and engages students intellectually as they make assessments and predictions.
Grade Six Presentation Theme: “Bigger, Faster…But I’m Smarter”
This is an entirely new presentation in both content and delivery method!
Grade 6 begins with a brief review of previous presentations. Emphasis is placed on the impact personal decisions and behaviors have on not only their own safety but the safety and wellbeing of others. Time is spent discussing what influences their decision making. The importance of prevention and their ability to control consequences, through their choices is stressed. Using engagement strategies students will be given opportunities to discuss safety issues in an open and non-threatening environment.
Express coverage
Watch for a story about the farm safety workshops in next week’s paper.

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