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Is Your Farm S. A. F. E.?

Keep safe. Stay safe. Drive safe. How many times have you said that in the past week to someone you care about? So what’s the common word? Have you taken S. A. F. E. to heart?

S. A. F. E. is more than just a word. It’s a way of thinking, a way of acting and a way of being. It’s the way your family wants you to come home every day from work. So think S. A. F. E!

S -SPOT THE HAZARDS

Figure out a simple procedure for routinely identifying hazards in the workplace. Involve your employees and family since they are generally more aware of the problems that exist. Also, if you involve workers in developing safety solutions, they will be more committed to making the solution work. Regularly inspect the workplace and machinery together and collaborate on identifying hazards.

A -ASSESS THE RISK

“Risk” is a measure of the probability that an incident will occur and the probable severity of the injuries. The measure of the risk can be rated as high, medium or low. Once you’ve assessed the risks, use the risk rating to prioritize hazards that need immediate action from those that can be monitored and fixed later. Regular assessment also helps budget your time and resources toward repairs and maintenance.

F -FIND A SAFER WAY

Once the risk has been prioritized you and your workers must develop controls or ways to minimize the risk. Controlling a hazard at its source should be the first choice because this method will eliminate it from the workplace altogether or isolate it from the worker. This may require substitution of materials with non-hazardous ones, isolation of hazards, addition of safety features to existing equipment, redesign of the work processes, or purchase of new equipment.

When the hazard cannot be removed or controlled adequately, personal protective equipment is the last line of defence if the work process is to continue. In reality, many controls are a combination of two or more control types.

E -EVERY DAY

After the appropriate control measures have been taken, monitor the situation and inspect it regularly to make sure that the actions taken are working and not creating any additional risks.

S. A. F. E. is a core value of Safe Farms Manitoba. Check out the site at http://www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/farmsafety/.

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