GFM Network News

This guide outlines, in general terms, the obligations for farmers with waged, non-family employees and outlines the types of hazards that should be considered in a safety plan. It is available at the Alberta Government website (search for ‘farm’).

There’s still a high bar on workplace safety for farm employers, says expert

Farmers with non-family employees need to understand their obligations, says lawyer

Reading Time: 4 minutes The farm safety legislation that sparked a political firestorm in 2015 may be gone — but not entirely. “They say Bill 6 has been repealed, but here’s the thing: It wasn’t a clean break,” said Christopher Spasoff of F2 Legal Counsel, who defends those facing occupational health and safety (OHS) charges. “It wasn’t a full […] Read more

Producers and their farm workers urged to take workplace safety survey

Producers and their farm workers urged to take workplace safety survey

The new government wants views and suggestions before introducing the Farm Freedom and Safety Act

Reading Time: 2 minutes Farmers, ranchers, and their workers are being asked by the provincial government what they would like to see in new farm workplace safety legislation. The United Conservative government says it plans to introduce the Farm Freedom and Safety Act this fall “to put choice back in the hands of farmers and have legislation that reflects […] Read more


Alberta ag minister Carlier downed in UCP win

Alberta’s incumbent agriculture minister was among the casualties as Jason Kenney’s United Conservative Party defeated Rachel Notley’s New Democrats in Tuesday night’s provincial election. Oneil Carlier, the provincial NDP government’s minister of agriculture and forestry since May 2015 and deputy government house leader since February 2016, was unseated in his riding of Lac Ste. Anne-Parkland […] Read more

Too much progress has been made on workplace safety rules to go back to square one, says AgCoalition chair Albert Kamps,
seen here at a news conference with Labour Minister Christina Gray.

Furor gives way to compromise on farm safety rules

Farmers were outraged when Bill 6 was introduced in 2015, but years of talks have changed the situation

Reading Time: 3 minutes It began with a firestorm but nearly three years on, the province’s move to impose Occupational Health and Safety regulations on farms is headed for a far different ending. It would be a mistake to roll back workplace safety legislation, said Albert Kamps, a dairy farmer and chair of AgCoalition, an unprecedented alliance of provincial […] Read more

Farmers on a committee dealing with workplace safety regulations argued that wearing a seatbelt while operating farm equipment doesn’t make sense much of the time. But the committee is recommending making buckling up mandatory.

Buckle up — workplace safety rules may be in for a rough ride

Mandatory seatbelt use is among several ‘pretty big’ regulations that don’t make sense, 
says the AgCoalition

Reading Time: 5 minutes Over the objections of its farmer members, a committee has recommended the province make seatbelt use mandatory in tractors, combines, and other farm equipment. Forcing farmers to buckle up is just one — although likely the most controversial — of 142 recommendations from four “technical working groups” established to turn Bill 6 into actual occupational […] Read more

Concerns about unions and how families would be affected sparked Bill 6 protests, like this one at the legislature, across Alberta a year ago. A working group has unanimously recommended families be largely exempt, but the labour relations committee was deeply split over the right to unionize and strike.

Battle lines drawn on allowing farm workers to unionize

There’s agreement on issues such as overtime and exempting families from the labour code, but prospect of unionization is a flashpoint

Reading Time: 6 minutes Producers remain at odds with the NDP government’s plan to include the right to unionize — and to go on strike — as part of its workplace safety legislation for farms and ranches. “In some areas, we did see some movement and we did get to resolutions,” said Gord Winkel, interim executive director of the […] Read more

Farmer walking toward combine.

Farm groups plan to lead the way on workplace safety

With Bill 6 consultations drawing to a close, AgCoalition aims to ‘show the world’ how to make farms safer

Reading Time: 2 minutes Now that the province’s Bill 6 consultation process is nearing an end, what’s next for the unprecedented coalition of Alberta farm groups? “The AgCoalition was initially set up to advance a safety culture, and yet it got embroiled in a consultation process that it didn’t really have a lot of time or purchase for,” said […] Read more

Bill 6 coverage wins prestigious journalism award

Reading Time: < 1 minute For the second year in a row, Alberta Farmer reporter Jennifer Blair has been honoured at the country’s premier agricultural journalism awards program. Blair won bronze in the Weekly Press Reporting category for her December 2015 story entitled Big Blowup, which detailed the firestorm of protests which arose following the introduction of Bill 6, which […] Read more

Feedlots topped the list for injury claims to the Workers Compensation Board in the first half of the year.

Workplace compensation claims on farms jump sharply

But the claims offer an opportunity for finding ways to make farms and ranches safer for everyone, says farm leader

Reading Time: 4 minutes Alberta farm employee injury claims have more than doubled since workplace compensation coverage became mandatory for farms on Jan. 1, even though the number of workers being covered is only up by two-thirds. During the first six months of the year, 395 claims were filed by farm workers and 356 claims were accepted by the […] Read more