Producers encouraged to provide input to strengthen recommendations
By Kate Ayers
Producer feedback on Alberta’s occupational health and safety legislation for farms and ranches is due Monday.
Everyone in the province’s ag industry has the chance to share their input to make sure the recommendations are optimized, Oneil Carlier, Alberta’s Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, said in an Okotoks Online article on Sunday.
“A lot of producers are getting to the point now where they are hiring more people outside of the family,” Lynn Jacobson, Alberta Federation of Agriculture president, said to Farms.com today.
“They are starting to recognize that agriculture has to have the same type of rules that other industries have – especially regarding safety equipment, safety stations and safety training.”
The Minister of Labour has yet to set a date to enact the revised legislation, according to Carlier. The province wants to ensure it takes time and does this properly.
Carlier has sought feedback through commissions and marketing boards, as well as from food processing companies and greenhouse growers to ensure representation from various sectors in the ag industry.
“It’s not going to be an end game. It’s always going to be a living process because next year perhaps there’s going to be a different industry, a new product being grown, or perhaps even new machinery that we’re going to have to take a look at to make sure that it continues to be safe for workers and for owners as well,” Carlier said in the article.
Farmers already demonstrate safe practices, but the OHS legislation provides producers with an opportunity to add another resource to their toolbox and make their operations even safer, according to Carlier.
Producers can provide feedback in writing or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org by Jan. 15, 2018.