It’s likely been years since anybody seriously injured themselves on your farm. Maybe a few falls and a couple of cuts but nothing major. You’re not alone. It’s really easy to become complacent about safety when things seem to be going well. But what’s that expression? If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Now’s the time to make yourself a safety plan and put it to work for you.
Farmers and ranchers across the country are being urged to work on their safety plans this year as part of the 2011 Canadian Agricultural Safety Week campaign March 13 to 19. The theme is “Plan Farm Safety.” Last year, the campaign highlighted planning, with safety walkabouts and planning for safety. This year, the focus is on the farm, including implementation, documentation and training. And next year, emphasis will be on safety, including assessments, improvements and further development of safety systems.
Get involved. Check out the basics of a safety plan at www.casa-acsa.ca. You’ll find links to province-specific checklists that can help build your plan. Keep in mind that prevention and problem solving lead to more knowledge, better skills and positive attitudes plus better productivity and cost control without losses due to injury or illness.
Here are some vital questions you need to answer as you work out your plan.
1.Does everyone on your farm know that you are committed to keeping everyone safe? Post a statement — a reminder to everyone that health and safety are your priorities and should be everyone’s.
2.What do you do when you see something that has the potential to hurt you or someone else? Set the right example for everyone on your farm so that when they see a hazardous situation, they tell someone and take action to have the hazard controlled.
3.Do you involve everyone in identifying and controlling safety risks? Hold regular safety meetings to hear everyone’s concerns and empower them to take positive action. Depending on the number of employees/family workers, set up a safety committee. Listen. Learn. And act.
4.How do people on your farm learn to do their job safely? Training people on your farm to do the job correctly and safely may take time but that time saves you money because the job will be done correctly the first time and — the chance of an incident happening will drop.
5.What is your response plan in the event of an incident? Write down your response plan and make sure everyone you work with knows where it is and the role they must play to make it work.
A safety plan is really a straightforward business plan. Think of a safety risk as a business risk. Plan to manage and control. Make sure it’s because of your plan and actions, and not luck, that nothing happens on your farm — ever.
Formoreinformationonthisandotherfarm safetytopicsvisit www.planfarmsafety.ca.
*The year-longnationalfarmsafetycampaignwillbe launchedwithCanadianAgriculturalSafety Week(CASW),March13to19.TheCanadian FederationofAgriculture(CFA)andCanadian AgriculturalSafetyAssociation(CASA)deliver CASWinpartnershipwithFarmCreditCanada andAgricultureandAgri-FoodCanada