Feds back farm safety training ahead of Ag Safety Week

A five-year federal funding pledge for the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association (CASA) is expected to help fund more farm safety training and monitoring progress towards safer farms.

Candice Bergen, the federal minister of state for social development, announced the funding through the Fostering Business Development stream of AgriCompetitiveness — a $114-million program under Growing Forward 2 — last week at Carman, Man.

While the rate of farm-related fatalities and injuries is decreasing, Canada can’t have a competitive industry without further improvements to its farm safety record, she said.

“In 2012, 25 farming workers lost their lives, and 15 were related to farm equipment,” she said. “Those numbers are too big. And there are many more injuries that affect people’s lives.”

Winnipeg-based CASA will put the AgriCompetitiveness funds toward programs aimed at injury reduction, executive director Marcel Hacault said.

The theme this year for Canadian Agricultural Safety Week, running March 9 to 15, will be ‘Let’s Talk about It’ and will feature producers’ stories about both injuries they’ve experienced as well as things done to prevent them.

“We’ve also developed resources for farmers that will help them conduct safety meetings and explore topics like talking to your kids about safety or overcoming language and cultural barriers with migrant workers,” Hacault told the Manitoba Co-operator.

“The idea is to get people talking about farm safety as a first step towards a safer, more successful farm.”

CLICK HERE to read Lorraine Stevenson’s story from the Feb. 27 issue of the Manitoba Co-operator.

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