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What’s Your Farm Safety Plan?

If you’re not planning on preventing injuries, then you’re planning on having them! It’s that simple. So what’s your farm safety plan?

“Plan Farm Safety” is the theme of a three-year Canadian agricultural safety campaign. Each aspect of the theme will be promoted over the next three years. This year the campaign is promoting “Plan” with safety walkabouts and planning for safety. In the second year, the focus will be on “Farm” including implementation, documentation and training. In the third year, emphasis will be on “Safety” including assessment, improvement and further development of safety systems.

The year-long “Plan” campaign will be launched with Canadian Agricultural Safety Week (CASW), from March 14 to 20. The Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) and Canadian Agricultural Safety Association (CASA) deliver CASW in partnership with Farm Credit Canada (FCC) and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

“Some producers feel that developing a farm safety program will create overwhelming paperwork, but that is not so,” says Marcel Hacault, CASA executive director. “The idea behind the theme “Plan Farm

Safety” is to offer a time period where farmers and ranchers can work with our campaign to go through the steps necessary to establish a practical farm safety program.”

So what is a farm safety plan? It’s simply a hard copy document of policies, procedures, rules, diagrams, maps and contact information for anyone living or working on a farm. It is also an agreed and communicated way of doing things which creates a safe and productive environment for those working and living on a farm.

Keep these tips in mind when you’re making your farm safety plan:

Develop a safety policy statement. Get ideas from your family and employees.

Appoint one of your team as the safety director or champion. This person should be in charge of safety training and make sure everyone knows what to do in case of an emergency.

Post the safety director’s phone number in a prominent location. Also post emergency contact numbers. Display maps or diagrams of the locations of land line telephones, fire extinguishers and first aid kits. Also make sure each farm vehicle has a fire extinguisher and first aid kit. This includes tractors and combines. Plan to restock first aid kits and fire extinguishers periodically.

Make sure everyone knows their responsibilities in case of an emergency. All employees should know how to use the fire extinguishers. If possible offer training in first aid, including CPR.

Review rules once or twice annually, or after any big change in equipment or farming procedures.

Create incentive for workers to be safety conscious.

Keep records of safety issues. Make it possible for employees to record any safety problem that might occur.

Stress the importance of safety on a daily basis. Require everyone to use the proper safety equipment to do their job.

Promote a zero tolerance of alcohol or drug use.

Thanks to the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association for providing this farm safety tip.

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