If you’re looking for a holiday gift that really says you care, here are some practical suggestions from the farm safety trainers, researchers and farmers who volunteer and work for the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association.
CASA’s seven-member board of directors volunteer their time to help lead and guide farm safety education and resource development right across Canada. Their gift suggestions come from their farm safety experiences and you never know, they might prevent an injury or fatality for someone you love.
Here’s their list of top farm safety gifts:
Buy or put together a first-aid kit for home and for every vehicle.
Give a gift certificate for a first-aid course that includes CPR training. (In a 2008 farm safety survey by Farm Credit Canada, Canadian producers listed a first-aid course at the top of their wish list to improve safety on their farm.)
Arrange to install roll over protection (ROPS) for a well-used but old tractor. (In some provinces, there’s a tax deduction for this gift. Tractor rollovers are the leading cause of fatalities on Canadian farms.)
Hire a safety consultant to come to your farm to set up a safety plan for the operation. (That same FCC survey showed eight out of 10 farmers rated safety as extremely important but fewer than two out of 10 had a safety plan.)
Look online or go to your nearest western store to pick up a great pair of steel-shank, steel-toe cowboy boots.
Or look for non-slip, steel toe, light rubber boots — the type that doesn’t harden up in winter. These are great for working inside the barn.
Chain saw chaps, a safety must for anyone who uses a chain saw. This “work fashion essential” is packed with fibreglass and can truly save a limb or greatly reduce the injury in a chain saw incident. Pick up a high-visibility chain saw helmet to complete the safety outfit.
Or how about a real hat? As in cowboy with a built in hard hat. No kidding!
Order a pair of safety goggles online or from a safety supply store. You can even get prescription safety goggles and goggles for kids.
Look for noise cancellation earmuffs or pick up reusable earplugs with attached cords or bands so they don’t get lost or dropped. (Check out www.casaacsa.cafor earmuff and plug fitting instructions.)
A new N95 mask would be a good choice — especially if you choose the type with a valve.
Work gloves are always a good gift. Make sure they’re ergonomic gloves that seriously fit and protect against abrasion. Look for the flexible, breathable sort many mechanics wear with rubber palm grips.
Complete the outfit with a set of fire-resistant coveralls. You might even like to embroider your farm name or logo on the pocket.
Pick up a flashlight. Get a magnetic mount beacon if you can. And make sure it goes into the truck or tractor.
Buy a good — expensive — set of booster cables.
Give a new cell phone with a GPS system. Get your kids to program the speed dial with emergency numbers such as the fire department, your parents or the local power company.
Give the gift of self preservation! Make a heartfelt (true) promise to your loved ones that you will never put profit before your own safety while you are on the job. And if you can’t do that, make sure you have walkie talkies in every vehicle so you can at least call for help.
For more great safety gift ideas all year round, check out the Safety Store at www.agrisafe.org.From CASA volunteers and staff — have a safe and wonderful holiday!
Thanks to the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association for providing this farm safety tip. Check out the photo gallery at www.casaacsa.cafor photos of safe farm operations.