March 13 to 19 marks the Canadian Agricultural Safety Week, a week that aims to raise awareness about the importance of farm safety and the the health and well-being of agricultural producers and workers in Canada.
Marie-Claude Bibeau, minister of agriculture and agri-food, issued a statement to mark the start of the week and acknowledged not only physical dangers such as injuries, but also risks to the mental well-being of farmers and workers. She said the week “invites us to take the time to a assess the potential dangers on farms, without forgetting the risks to mental health too.”
She added that work and hours can be “exhausting, and sometimes very stressful.” Nevertheless, she added, most injuries are preventable if producers, managers and workers are aware of risks and hazards.
“Farm safety is about changing unsafe behaviours and habits, understanding that safe farming practices are an investment in the business, and doing what it takes to truly put safety and health first.”
Bibeau also promoted the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association (CASA) and its various safety and educational initiatives such as its Toolbox Talks for children. CASA is supported through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership.
“This week, I invite you to join the online conversation and show that you care about #FarmSafetyEveryday by posting a video, a photo, a few words or CASA’s Ag Safe virtual ribbon. During Canadian Agricultural Safety Week let’s take the time to raise awareness about farm safety and keep the conversation going around safety to make every day on the farm an accident-free day.”