Agricultural Safety Week is a reminder to everyone to be safe and diligent when at work in the farm yard, as agriculture remains one of the most hazardous occupations in Saskatchewan, and the upcoming seeding and harvest seasons often see an increase in incidents.
Saskatchewan plans their Agricultural Safety Week in conjunction with Canadian Agricultural Safety Week every year, and the goal is to raise awareness about farm safety issues.
There are reportedly 13 people killed on Saskatchewan farms every year, and 75 per cent of those fatalities involve some type of vehicle or machinery.
Some easy recommendations for safety around the yard include making sure to get enough rest and to take proper breaks when working, to install guards and shields on machinery immediately after maintenance, to watch for overhead lines when moving machinery or bins, and to store and use chemicals properly and in safe conditions.
It is also encouraged to make sure that all employees and workers have proper training and knowledge of a task before attempting it and to have a safety plan in place in the event of an emergency — it can be an important thing to know where first aid, fire, and emergency supplies are, and how to use them.
As the nature of farming often combines the workplace and the home for many people, it's also important to make sure youth and children are protected. Of all serious injuries reported on the farm yard, 14 per cent involve youth, and half of all youth fatalities on the farm are caused by machinery or vehicles.
The Saskatchewan Prevention Institute suggests making sure that your children know where dangerous areas are — like dugouts, livestock pens, moving machinery. Often youth are involved in helping with work, and so giving them age-appropriate tasks and instruction before sending them to work can help reduce the chance of injury.
“Safety should be top of mind, because at the end of the day we all want to come home safely to our families,” said Agriculture Minister David Marit in a press release.