Farm safety in Alberta needs some work — and Susan Schafers has a few ideas.
“We in the industry want to make sure that all producers and all employees have a better concept of farm safety and how to improve safety levels on their farms,” said the chair of Egg Farmers of Alberta.
While there has been “some very good progress made” so far, said Schafers, the Alberta government needs to keep working on farm safety in three key areas: legislation, training, and tracking.
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“Alberta is the only province that doesn’t have legislation around that,” she said. “This is something the government and industry have picked up as a bit lacking. We could be doing better.”
Training — through things like the Farm Safe Program — is another way the Alberta government can support safer farm operations, said Schafers.
“We want to have a comprehensive training program that all producers can work with,” she said.
Schafers would also like to see more tracking and accountability for farm safety in the province.
“It’s not just about doing it. You’ve also got to be able to prove that you’re doing it,” she said. “It’s easy to say what you’re doing, but you’ve got to be able to document it and show the kind of improvements.”
That goes hand in hand with tracking the types of accidents and where they take place.
“You hear about deaths, obviously, and you sometimes hear about serious accidents, but there isn’t a really great way of tracking safety issues in the agricultural sector,” said Schafers.
“What we’re trying to get to is something where all agricultural sectors have a baseline, and we’re not there yet.”