Editor’s Column: This is the perfect time to review safety guidelines, tips and training

Editor’s Column: This is the perfect time to review safety guidelines, tips and training

As you get this copy of Grainews in your hands, the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association will be gearing up for Canadian Agricultural Safety Week (CASW), which runs from March 14 to 20. This year the campaign focus is “Safe and Strong Farms: Lead an AgSafe Canada.”

This is the final year of the three-year campaign celebrating farm safety across Canada. The aim of the campaign is to empower farmers, farm families and farming communities to “Build an AgSafe Canada” in 2019, “Grow an AgSafe Canada” in 2020, and this year to “lead” the agricultural industry in safety and sustainability.

Organizers are supporting farm safety leadership through resources, safety advice articles and a free public webinar called, “Be AgSafe, Stay Rail Smart,” in partnership with CN on March 16. Resources and more information about the webinar can be found at agsafetyweek.ca.

Be a leader

For 2021, the organizers and supporters of CASW are encouraging you to be a leader — lead your community, your farm and your family in farm safety.

“This year is all about celebrating the leaders in agricultural safety and health,” said Andrea Lear, CASA’s CEO, in a press release about this year’s CASW. “Farmers, farming communities, ag businesses, farm safety partners and other farm safety champions are doing great work keeping Canadian farms safe and strong.”

Resources to support you as a farm safety leader include information on farm safety and COVID-19, and resilience and wellness on the farm, which can also be found at agsafetyweek.ca. For example, as a farmer and employer, it’s up to you to make sure everyone who works and lives on the farm stays safe and healthy. Because of COVID-19 that role is as important as ever. Resources are available to help you develop and follow a plan to reduce COVID-19 exposure on the farm.

Resources on resilience on the farm explore the implementation of farm business management practices to help farms weather storms and remain resilient through challenging times. And wellness on the farm resources can help you with the practice of self-care. We can all use more information and guidance on this topic.

Share your farm safety stories

The AgSafe Ribbon campaign is going digital this year and can be shared on your social media platforms. photo: CASA

New this year, the AgSafe Ribbon campaign is going digital and can be shared on social media. I’ve already created a “Twibbon” on my Twitter account. You’ll find a link to create your own Twibbon at agsafetyweek.ca.

You can also participate by downloading the Virtual AgSafe Ribbon and sharing it on your other social media platforms. Share your photos and stories about farm safety to raise awareness and start conversations about the importance of farm safety. Use the hashtag #AgSafeCanada so other farmers across Canada can find your story and photos on social media.

We’d also love to hear your farm safety stories at Grainews. Drop me a line at [email protected].

There is nothing more important than the safety of your families, farm workers and communities. We’re almost at the start of a new growing season and it’s the perfect time to review safety tips, guidelines and training. In our March 9 issue you’ll find a feature to get you started on your own spring safety checklist if you haven’t already developed one — there are so many reasons to create one, including your bottom line.

In my next column, I’ll be revisiting the topic of safety with some tips for keeping your children safe on the farm. Until then, stay well and stay safe.

Kari

About the author

Editor

Kari Belanger

Kari Belanger has been a writer and editor since graduating from the University of Calgary with a B.Sc. in Biology and a BA in English Literature in 1996. For more than twenty years, she has worked in many different industries and media, including newspapers and trade publications. For the past decade she has worked exclusively in the agriculture industry, leading a number of publications as editor. Kari has a particular passion for grower-focused publications and a deep respect for Canadian farmers and the work they do. Her keen interest in agronomy and love of writing have led to her long-term commitment to support, strengthen and participate in the industry.

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