Pilot project helps Nova Scotia farmers implement health and safety plans

The Canadian Agricultural Safety Association (CASA) has launched a Nova Scotia FarmSafe pilot project aimed at helping producers implement health and safety plans on their farms.

The project, operating until March 31, 2013, involves the employment of a Truro-based Canada FarmSafe Advisor trained by CASA staff to walk farm managers through the process of establishing a health and safety plan. The advisor will follow up with four on-site farm visits as well as remote assistance in order to ensure the farmer is properly supported throughout the year. Health and safety plans will be based on the Canada FarmSafe Plan, CASA’s health and safety business risk management tool (www.casa-acsa.ca/CanadaFarmSafePlan), while complementing existing Nova Scotia farm safety resources.

Glen Blahey, Agricultural Health and Safety Specialist with CASA, says the pilot represents a significant step forward in CASA’s goal to reduce farm fatalities in Canada. “At the end of the day, we want to reduce farm injuries in Canada and make it as easy as possible for farmers to establish safety plans suited to their farms. By helping farmers implement the Canada FarmSafe Plan, we are really planting the seeds of health and safety within the community. If one farm can do it, so can others,” he says.

Carolyn Van Den Heuvel, Canada FarmSafe Advisor (Nova Scotia) for CASA, says agriculture is one of the most hazardous industries in the country. Implementing a health and safety plan is one of the most important activities a farmer can undertake to reduce injuries on the farm. “I grew up on a Nova Scotia farm and have worked in the industry. So it’s really exciting for me to help farmers in my own province put health and safety plans into place. Not only are farmers controlling costs, they are also protecting everyone who works, lives or visits that farm, including family and children,” she says.

Up to 15 farm managers may participate in the Nova Scotia pilot. Farmers from across the entire province are eligible. The cost to participate is $500 and up, depending on the number of employees. Interested farmers can contact Carolyn Van Den Heuvel, Canada FarmSafe Advisor (Nova Scotia), at (902) 893-2293 or via email at[email protected].

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