July 20th, 2024

Safety the focus of agriculture campaign

By Steffanie Costigan - Lethbridge Herald Local Journalism Initiative Reporter on March 13, 2024.

Herald file photo - The Canadian Agricultural Safety Association is creating awareness as part of Ag Safety Week with their campaign "Your Farm, Your Family, Your Success: Safety is Our Heritage."

The Canadian Agricultural Safety Association is creating awareness as it celebrates Ag Safety Week.

The “Your Farm, Your Family, Your Success: Safety is Our Heritage” initiative is the final part of a three-year safety campaign run by the CASW.

Farm safety week begins Sunday and runs to March 16 with the CASW encouraging farming communities to plan for farm safety every day.

“There is no question that farm accidents can have a devastating toll with physical, psychological, and financial consequences,” said CASA’s chief executive officer Andrea Lear in a phone interview. 

And many accidents are preventable, she said.

“That’s why we want to provide Canadian producers with the tools and resources they need to protect the health and safety of everyone who lives and works on or visits farms and ranches.

“Canadian Agricultural Safety Week serves as a reminder that farm safety is important year-round and that by working together, we can ensure a safer agricultural sector,” said Lear.

CASA director of programs and communications Robin Anderson said farms success includes farming safely.

“Farmers (are) the backbone of the Kenyan culture industry, right? It’s how our farms thrive. But how do we make those farms successful, and viable and thriving, as we go through, go into the future?

“Part of that, of course, is ensuring the safety and well-being of everybody that comes to work or visit or play on every farm in the country,” said Anderson.

Anderson voiced how farms can go out of business due to the lack of safety and the impact that can have.

“The reality is lots of family farms will go under, in the case of the death of a primary producer, and they just can’t keep going along with that reality. And that becomes a real problem, especially for these amazing family farms that we have,” she said.

Anderson said approximately 65 deaths occur due to cases of agricultural injuries each year in Canada and CASA wants to see those numbers decrease.

“We’d like to really see that number go to zero. We would like to see all injuries not happen in agriculture. It’s just one of those things where we were trying to keep everybody understanding that safety is important all of the time and incorporating safety every day, making it just an inherent part of everything you do on the farm.”

She noted the CASA desire to see farming communities thrive and keep safe. “We want to ensure that those family farms thrive and succeed for the future.

“And that also includes keeping the primary producers safe, secondary farm producers, all the farm family, including children, anyone that might come to work or visit on the farm, as well,” said Anderson.

Anderson expressed a safety reminder is needed to keep in mind while being in the industry.

“Everybody needs a reminder, everybody needs to keep that in mind that farming is inherently risky and dangerous profession, because there are so many hazards,” she said.

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