4-H partnership delivers tractor safety videos

RICHMOND, B.C. — Risks with operating or being around tractors and farm machinery are high for young people living on farms, and education needs to start young.

WorkSafeBC, 4-H British Columbia and AgSafe have teamed up to create two new agriculture safety videos, 4-H Working Safely on Tractors and 4-H Working Safely Around Tractors.

They will be shown at 4-H club meetings and events in B.C., to promote safe work practices on and around tractors and other farm machinery.

“With many of our young people working on family farms around livestock and operate equipment, farm and home safety remain important focuses of the 4-H BC program,” says Claudette Martin, manager of 4-H BC.

“By educating young people today, there is great potential to increase work safety awareness in B.C.’s future agriculture industry, and other industries as 4-H members mature and transfer this knowledge into their workplace of choice.”

Over the last five years, farm vehicles or machinery have been involved in more than 430 of the 2,700 injuries in the agriculture sector across the province.

The videos highlight key safety points:

  • Read and follow the user’s manual for all farm equipment.
  • Ensure the tractor’s roll-over protection structures are up and always wear your seatbelt.
  • Always keep three points of contact when getting on and off equipment.
  • Wear high visibility apparel when working around farm equipment.
  • Ensure all power take-off shields and guards are maintained and in place.

Doug Pasco, an agriculture industry specialist with WorkSafeBC, helped spearhead the partnership with 4-H BC and AgSafe as an extension of an education and training initiative with equipment dealerships that rolled out in 2015.

He said an accident inspired the expansion into youth education.

“During the rollout of that initiative, there was an incident with a young woman in 4-H who was injured in an equipment accident and was willing to speak about her experience and the value of tractor and machinery safety,” says Pasco.

“We sat down with 4-H BC to discuss how to best get the message out to their youth members, and they suggested that we create tractor safety videos that leaders could use and put online.”

The videos were filmed at the Albert and Dena Finlay farm in Armstrong.

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