Ottawa – So you’ve built a farm safety plan. That’s a great start. Now – make it work for you. And keep double-checking and refining – the same way you handle your business plan.

“By planning, implementing and assessing safety on the farm on a regular basis, you’re making an important investment in your own future and the future of your family, employees and your farm,” says Greg Stewart, President and CEO, Farm Credit Canada (FCC).

Plan • Farm • Safety” is the theme of the three-year Canadian Agricultural Safety campaign. The 2010 campaign promoted “Plan”, with safety walkabouts and an emphasis on planning for safety. For 2011, the focus will be on “Farm”, with highlights on implementation, documentation and training. This campaign will launch during Canadian Agricultural Safety Week (CASW), March 13 to 19. Next year’s campaign will emphasise “Safety”, including the assessment, improvement and further development of safety systems.

The Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) and Canadian Agricultural Safety Association (CASA) deliver CASW in partnership with long-time sponsors Farm Credit Canada (FCC) and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

“A farm safety plan is an important part of an overall business plan,” says Marcel Hacault, Executive Director for CASA. “The idea behind the Plan • Farm • Safety campaign is to work with producers as they go through the necessary steps to develop, implement and assess a practical farm safety plan for their own unique operation.”

A 2005 study conducted by the Canadian Agricultural Injury Reporting program (CAIR) reported an average of 115 people are killed by farm related incidents every year, with at least 1,500 hospitalized. In 2006, a total of 13,801 Canadian farms reported one or more medically treated or lost time injuries, reports Statistics Canada.

“Everyone has a role to play ensuring there are viable solutions for keeping safe on the farm,” explains Ron Bonnett, CFA President. “Statistics show us that about 85 per cent of farm related incidents are due to human error. This also means farmers can avoid many of these incidents and injuries. Our hope is that during Canadian Agricultural Safety Week, we can provide farmers with practical tools to implement safer work practices.”

To help get started, a variety of farm safety plan resources, tips and teaching kits are available at www.planfarmsafety.ca .
Rate your farm safety knowledge. Take the FCC Farm Safety Quiz at www.fccfarmsafety.ca between March 1 and 31 and enter to win a safety kit.

For more information call:
Theresa Whalen, CFA Farm Safety Consultant, (613) 822-0016 farmsafety@cfafca.ca
Diane Wreford, CASA, (204) 275-8874 dwreford@casa-acsa.ca
Aliya Ladha, FCC (306) 780-5635 aliya.ladha@fcc-fac.ca

Free photos and cartoons are available to accompany this article at www.planfarmsafety.ca