Farm Safety Roundup, Ep. 6: Safety is our heritage

(Paige Holmquist/RealAgriculture)

As Canadian Agricultural Safety Week concludes, the conversation around farm safety continues to be paramount. In this episode of the Farm Safety Roundup, hosted by Shaun Haney of RealAgriculture, Ryan Dick of Workplace Safety and Prevention Services sheds light on the crucial role of safety in agriculture. With a dual perspective as both a Health & Safety Consultant and a farmer, Dick emphasizes the significance of prioritizing safety every day.

This year’s focus for Canadian Agricultural Safety Week emphasized the need for ongoing safety awareness, and provided practical safety advice and encouraging conversations about farm safety. Dick emphasizes the direct link between safety practices and the success and sustainability of farming operations. “Regardless of what your view of success is, there’s a few things that help you get there on the farm. One of those things is putting health and safety at the forefront. Because if you’re not around to enjoy your success, what point is having success?”

Haney and Dick highlight the preventable nature of many farm injuries, stressing the need for thorough task assessment and hazard awareness. Dick urges farmers to prioritize safety training and to continuously evaluate and update safety procedures. “Every farmer has a responsibility to protect their workers by making them aware of the hazards and the dangers of doing the job… if we can increase our communication, we would have a better internal responsibility system, which would in turn create a safer work environment and a safer culture,” he advises.

In addition to addressing near misses and unique risks in farming, Dick emphasizes the importance of self-care among farmers. He urges individuals to prioritize their physical and mental well-being, recognizing that farm success is inherently tied to personal well-being. “Farm success is directly dependent on our wellbeing as a farmer. And if we are not taking care of ourselves, not being able to see the forest for the trees, we’re gonna continue to make knee-jerk decisions that make more work for ourselves because we’re not giving yourself that downtime, to really rest and recoup for that,” he emphasizes.

The commitment to farm safety extends far beyond a designated week. By fostering open communication, prioritizing safety training, and advocating for self-care, farmers can create safer work environments and ensure the long-term success of their operations.

For more information including tips, tools, and free and easy-to-use resources, visit WSPS.ca/farmsafety

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