Farm Safety Week focuses on strains, sprains, falls

Farming is physically demanding; however, it doesn’t have to be physically damaging. Farmers must make the health and safety of workers a priority to reduce the risk of injury or being killed on the job, safety experts warn.

In Canada each year, an average of 115 people die and another 1,500 are seriously injured in farm-related incidents, the Nova Scotia government said in a release Friday.

This year’s theme of Canadian Agricultural Safety Week is Manage More Than Just Your Back. Taking place March 12 to 18, the week aims at prompting farmers to focus on ways to lower the risk of sprains, strains and falls on the job.

“We encourage farm owners and managers to promote safe work practices on the farm to prevent injuries and death,” said Nova Scotia Ag Minister Brooke Taylor. “I urge Nova Scotia farmers to use due diligence everyday and to create a culture of safety in the workplace.”

Results from a study by the Canadian Agricultural Injury Surveillance Program shows the leading type of farm-related injuries in Canada are sprains and strains. Overexertion was the leading cause of injury followed by livestock handling, machine-related incidents and falls. The study indicated these four causes account for 84 per cent of all strain and sprain injuries sustained in agricultural work.

The Canadian Agricultural Safety Week program is delivered by the Canadian Federation of Agriculture and the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association in partnership with Farm Credit Canada and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

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