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Child safety is priority, says new farm safety study


April 30, 2009
By Fruit & Vegetable

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A new farm safety study says that although most Canadian primary producers believe farm safety is important (83 per cent), very few actually have a formal safety plan in place (15 per cent). Although producers report that safety is important, they may not practice all safety measures regularly.

A new farm safety study says that although most Canadian primary producers believe farm safety is important (83 per cent), very few actually have a formal safety plan in place (15 per cent). Although producers report that safety is important, they may not practice all safety measures regularly.

Farm Credit Canada partnered with the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association (CASA) to conduct a study of Canadian producers to find out how safe producers are when working.

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“We found out what’s going well and what could be improved,” said Greg Stewart, FCC president and CEO. “We also discovered what is preventing producers from implementing safety measures.”

Taking precautions for children is the general safety measure most frequently practiced (93 per cent). More than eight out of ten respondents state that they practice safe equipment handling (89 per cent), safe livestock handling (85 per cent) and training family members (83 per cent) on a regular basis.

“It makes sense that producers say they make the safety of their children their top priority,” says Marcel Hacault, executive director of CASA. “But we have work ahead of us to convince producers to include their own safety as a priority. We definitely see a gap between intention and action.”

Only half of the respondents (51 per cent) say they order additional safety options, such as ladders and monitors. Two-thirds of respondents (66 per cent) report that they regularly work when tired, and only one-third manage stress (32 per cent). Working tired and working under stress increase the chance of injury.

Producers explain that safety is a priority on their farms for three key reasons: safekeeping of their family members; the potential for financial loss due to accidents, largely through lost productivity; and the impact of first-hand exposure to farm accidents.

What prevents producers from taking safety measures?

Respondents report that the key barriers to practicing safety measures are old habits (35 per cent) and time constraints (31 per cent). In short, producers take shortcuts to get the job done.

The individuals surveyed were members of FCC’s Vision Panel. For more information regarding the study findings and CASA, log on to www.casa-acsa.ca or www.fccvision.ca/InAction.aspx.


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