Saturday marks the end of Ag Safety Week in Saskatchewan.
Andre Bonneau, the regional forage specialist with the Ministry of Ag in the Prince Albert regional office, joined the CJME Morning Show this week to talk about safety.
On average, 13 people are killed on Saskatchewan farms each year and of those fatal injuries, 75 per cent involved some kind of machinery.
“Most of these incidents happen right in the yard. People are working on machinery, people are not paying attention to each other, things move, things turn, things happen in the yard that normally wouldn’t happen in the field and people just get caught in those situations,” Bonneau said.
Fatalities on farms are usually related to equipment or machinery.
Bonneau said most farmers think about safety, but nothing is ever really formalized.
“In their mind when (farmers) get up in the morning, have their coffee, think about what they’re going to do that day … safety does come into their thoughts but it never really gets expressed with other people in the yard and on the farm,” he said.
“I think there’s a bit of a disconnect there in some cases.”
Paying attention is a big factor in accidents on farms. Bonneau said when a farmer or farm worker gets hurt, that extra second for that shortcut can turn into something longer.
Depending on how bad an injury is, it can affect the timeline of farming, especially if someone is injured badly enough they’re off the job for a week or more.
“That extra five minutes could save you a lot of time,” Bonneau said.
Farm safety is very important, given that farms are treated like a workplace, so there are lots of responsibilities for farmers who employ other people.
Bonneau said farms are considered workplaces under Occupational Health and Safety regulations.