As the local farming community gears up for another season we want to lend our support to their efforts. We know that our industry relies heavily on your industry and we hope 2021 is a safe and productive year for you. In an effort to help you as you gear up for the season we wanted to suggest some ideas to prevent injury and promote safety. Just like in construction, many farm injuries are predictable and preventable. Here are a few tips and ideas to help keep your farm, employees and family safe this growing season.
- Let your team know where you are working. Many farmers spend a lot of time alone and often move around without anyone knowing their specific whereabouts. Get into the practice of sending a quick text to a family member, neighbour or employee to let them know where you are. This is especially wise if you are working on a high risk job. Perhaps even give a timeline; “I am working on the north quarter and plan to be back at noon.” This allows your team to check on you if you don’t arrive on time. If they have your location they will know exactly where to look first.
- Document all hazards. Ensure that everyone working with and for you is aware of hazards such as power lines and ditches. It is a good idea to have a physical or digital farm map that marks each hazard. You can also add important emergency tools to the map such as the location of fire extinguishers and first aid kits. Post this map around your farm site.
- Create an emergency plan. Farmers have a lot of work to do and often an emergency plan is low on the list, if it even makes the list at all. However, a plan will help you and your team to act fast if there is an accident or injury on site. The document should be reviewed by your team often and posted in various locations around the site. The plan should include the following information:
A. useful phone numbers, not only those of first responders but also neighbours and friends.
B. clear, concise, accurate directions to your farm. It is not helpful to stumble over directions if you need first responders to find the scene. Have directions written out so you can read them instead of making them up as you go.
C. A description of where emergency resources are kept such as the first aid and fire extinguisher are located.
To all our farm friends and customers: stay alert, plan ahead and don’t take unnecessary risks.