So you’ve decided to hire your 20-something nephew and his pal to help you get the crop in and work around the yard. You might even put an ad in the local paper or tweet for more help. You know you can’t just send them out on your equipment without training. But where to start?
Get with the Plan! The Canada FarmSafe Plan. Developed for you by the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association, no matter what sort of farm you run or where.
The Plan is a business risk management tool that will help you come up with Standard Operating Practices (SOPs) for each task you need done on your farm. These SOPs become your training tool for teaching newbies and refreshing everyone else who needs to know the basics of the job, including the health and safety requirements.
Remember — you are responsible for the health and safety of everyone on your farm. So prepare now before the new team arrives. Keep in mind that, according to farm injury research in Ontario, workers aged 15 to 24 are twice as likely to be victims of job-related injuries as experienced workers. And five times as likely to be hurt during the first four weeks on the job.
Talk safety when you’re interviewing workers for hire. Point out the importance and expectations of safety on your farm. Have them explain their understanding of your safety expectations. Be sure to check their references for a positive safety record and verify their operating certifications or accreditations.
A good attitude toward safety is one of the most important attributes to look for in an employee. Choose well.
The Canada FarmSafe Plan suggests that you should give every worker a thorough workplace safety orientation at the start of every season or work period. Remember, training is more than providing information. Successful training requires a demonstration that the worker has the required knowledge or skills and can do the job safely.
What do they need to know? Here’s a list to start with:
- How to perform each task safely;
- Hazard identification and control procedures;
- Rights and responsibilities of workers;
- Who to ask for help;
- Where to go for first aid;
- What to do in case of an emergency; and,
- What to do if there is an incident.
And now, if you still want to hire your nephew, check out the Plan! Download a free copy of the core Canada FarmSafe Plan at www.,planfarmsafety.ca. †