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Farmers Need to do More to Prevent Serious Farm Accidents

A new survey suggests farmers need to do more to prevent serious farm accidents.
 
The executive director of the Canadian Agriculture Safety Association says a new farm survey shows 72 percent of producers have had a serious accident or close call. But Marcel Harcault says the increased awareness of the dangers of farming doesn't reflect in steps to develop an organized safety plan.  "The good news is that the awareness and the importance of safety is rising.  Farmers are aware of the hazards that are around their farm, and are aware of what they could do to improve it.  The bad news is that even though they might have gotten hurt on the farm, or they are aware of the safety hazards, they don't seem to be doing anything about it."  
 
Harcault continues to comment that even though farmers that may have had a close call, are not most likely to do anything different than if they did not have a close call.  He notes that farmers are very aware and one of the biggest motivators to make changes on their farm, is safety of their family, not regulations..
 
Harcault recommends that farmers create a farm safety plan very similar to regulated businesses.  An example of this would be a checklist.  About 15% of farmers surveyed have a written safety plan where more farmers have an unwritten safety plan.  Most farmers think that a safety plan would help but according to Harcault, doesn't mean they will create one.
 
Finally Harcault acknowledges that most fatalities on the farm happen around farm equipment so the more dangerous times on the farm are around seeding and harvest.  
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