Agriculture Safety and Health Week 2010 to Focus on Importance of Safety Plans
To help Manitoba farmers reduce injuries and be more aware of potential hazards and dangerous practices on the job, the province will launch the Safe Farms Check program this spring, Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives Minister Stan Struthers announced today.
“Farms are a hive of activity involving chemicals, heavy equipment and unpredictable animals, any of which could cause serious injuries to adults and children,” said Struthers. “The new Safe Farms Check program will help producers prepare safety plans that will help them anticipate challenges in daily activities and map out ways to avoid potential hazards.”
The launch follows a two-year pilot project and will offer Manitoba producers a safety and health plan template that can be customized to individual farms. It will help farmers identify and control hazards, create emergency preparedness plans, identify safety and health responsibilities for people working on farms, conduct inspections, develop safe work procedures for all tasks and identify the causes of injuries.
The announcement comes on the eve of Agricultural Safety and Health Week, which runs until March 20. This year’s campaign theme, Plan Farm Safety, is vitally important to all producers, said Labour and Immigration Minister Jennifer Howard.
“Raising awareness of the potential risks and dangers on a farm is the first step towards keeping everyone safe in this potentially dangerous environment,” said Howard. “Creating safe agricultural workplaces is a challenge, but a strong emphasis on planning combined with education can make a difference.”
To help farm families keep their young children out of harm’s way, the province offers a Safe Play Area grant of up to $500 to help cover the cost of creating safe playgrounds on farm properties.
Information on training sessions, along with templates, sample programs and technical assistance for the Safe Farms Check Program, is available at http://www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/farmsafety/, or 1-800-282-8069, ext. 2315.
Other safety courses available through the Manitoba government’s Safe Farms Program are Safe Operation of Tractors and Farm Equipment, ATV Safety for Agricultural Workers, Low Stress Cattle Handling, First on the Scene of an Injury for Farm Family Members and Safe Horse Handling.