Canadian Agricultural Safety Week is over. In case you missed the hype, the dates were March 13 to 19 and you can catch the excitement and stories at www.planfarmsafety.ca. You guessed it — the messages this year was to zero in on farm safety plans and how to create and work with them. Why? Because Canada’s farmers said they believe safety is extremely important in their operation. They put safety first for themselves, their employees and their families. But in a recent survey by Farm Credit Canada, those same farmers admitted they didn’t actually have a safety plan.
Without a plan, farmers have no process and no way to measure their success. So with support from ag safety professionals, researchers and farmers, the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association has developed a safety plan template farmers and ranchers across Canada can use to draw up their own practical and comprehensive safety plan.
The guidelines offer a straightforward procedure for incorporating safety into a farm business. The template builds on the economic practices most farmers already use. It delivers a safe farm. And it’s called Canada FarmSafe.
In a nutshell, here’s how it works:
1) Write a general policy statement for safety and health for your farm. Post a brief statement on employer commitment, responsibilities and everyone’s involvement in taking responsibility for safety and health on your farm.
2) Identify the hazards. Document the process for recognizing risks to safety and health on the job.
3) Cont rol the hazards . Write a statement setting out how hazards will be controlled, taking into account wellness, safe work procedures, emergencies, on-going training, investigations and responsibilities. Provide a written statement setting out your expectations for working your safety and health plan. Make sure everyone who needs to know understands who is responsible for what. Share the responsibilities of the owner, family members, manager, supervisors, workers, contractors, service providers, suppliers and visitors. You need to establish how communication about safety and health is going to occur between you, as the ultimate person in charge, and everyone else. Everyone needs to know your safety and health performance standards and the consequences of not following them.
4) Review the plan. Farming is dynamic. Everything is changing minute by minute. To ensure that your safety plan is working at its peak, review it regularly and update it to reflect current practices. Make a written commitment describing the general criteria that will be used to strive for effectiveness.
5) Preserve the plan. Put your safety plan into a binder. Add any additional standards which duplicate or cross reference your Canada FarmSafe Plan. If you wish to keep your plan electronically, make certain it can be easily accessed and reviewed but not altered.
Yes — you’re right — that’s a mighty big nutshell but this plan can deliver mighty big rewards. Put your customized Canada FarmSafe plan to work on your farm. Today. For more details, go to www.planfarmsafety.ca