When things go sideways …do you know what to do?

EDMONTON — Alberta’s Bill 6 has opened the door to addressing safety, say agricultural safety experts.

“I saw it as an opportunity to talk about safety, raise the profile of safety in people’s minds,” said Dan Trottier of Ag Safe Alberta.

“As a result, people are working toward more complex safety management systems for their farms.”

Facilitating an emergency preparedness workshop during the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association’s annual conference in Edmonton in early October, he cited improvements seen on farms each year.

“No one goes to work on a farm to hurt themselves,” he said.

Trottier said there has been an uptick in farmers seeking information on emergency procedures, with many realizing it could happen to them.

“If I’m working alone, how am I going to get saved, and beyond that, they’re thinking of family and workers,” he said.

That starts with identifying and managing hazards and ensuring adequate resources are accessible.

CASA is currently targeting grain entrapment training for emergency responders and providing farmers with emergency response programs to deal with these and other incidents on the farm.

Glen Blahey, CASA’s agricultural safety and health specialist, said farmers are often miles from emergency help so need to have a plan in place and the appropriate resources on site.

That could include fire extinguishers for a fire, first aid training for workers dealing with injuries and information on where shutoff valves, water pumps or electrical boxes are located.

“Know what to do in the moments immediately after an incident occurs and how to stabilize it,” said Blahey.

He said farmers should address what to do if the plan fails.

“Look at the what ifs.”

He also suggested ensuring Epipens are available and that staff knows how to use them for allergic reactions. CPR training for heart attack victims and the availability of first aid kits are also key.

In addition, contact information and legal land descriptions should also be easily accessed to relay to first responders in addition to a site map to identify where people and equipment are on the property.

“If I own and operate the farm, I know it, but what if I get hurt?” said Blahey.

Walter Pavlic, an Edmonton lawyer, cited the more than 100 agriculture-related fatalities in Canada each year, calling the industry the third most dangerous one in the country.

He said Alberta’s regulations for paid, non-family farm and ranch workers have been unpopular but bring occupational health and safety standards to the industry. They address the well-being of employees, training and work environments.

“It’s the right thing to do,” he said, noting how following a best practices checklist and rules can result in rebates on Workers Compensation premiums for farm employers.

Denis Roy of L’Union des producteurs agricoles in Quebec told delegates the use of migrant workers will continue to grow to face Canada’s farm labour shortages.

“Workers are part of the (farm) assets and you have to protect assets. Put money in the workers, it’s worth the price,” he said.

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  • old grouchy

    Interesting how the introduction of draconian legislation (Bill 6 – – – which by the way has not yet be fully written) opens the door to addressing farm safety.
    Also interesting how a reported whose normal pieces are about farm living, IMO, op ed pieces, now has the background AND expertise to write about farm safety – – – maybe it was because no one else would touch this explosive hot potato?

    • Kissing optional

      “… because no one else would touch this… ( my favourite part) … explosive hot potato ”
      How about just every other province with an agriculture sector?
      Draconian is where the province is moving from, being void of legislation.

      • Harold

        A free society is not based upon its massive legislations. It is based upon the absence of legislation.
        Draco was an Athenian extreme, severe, and cruel law giver, and draconian – were the laws attributed. I’m not sure where thought you were going with your piece on legislation. Did we have a law that was cruel and new legislation somehow fixed it? Normally, cruel laws are simply repealed. In a truer sense, laws can become draconian when new legislation is added to the existing law. The province can only be moving toward draconian and not coming from it. I fail to see your logic.

  • Kissing optional

    And when you are coming from no legislation for the protection and rights of a worker or in some cases, indentured (slavery) and child labour?
    All is well to let the capitalist reign supreme.
    In that rose coloured world where a worker is treated with respect and fairly, no legislation would be required. That world doesn’t exist in Alberta.

    • old grouchy

      Oh boy – – – your missives display a quite shocking lack of understanding of reality!
      Workers treated with respect and fairly – – – sorry that should also be the way that EMPLOYERS are treated – – – EVERYONE should be treated this way. Except – – – in Alberta farm employers are treated like incompetent scumbags. Talking to those that I know having consistent long term labor in Alberta are generally paying some serious wages now (and even 5 years ago – – – well before the advent of the oh so righteous NDPer gooberment (sic)).
      Child labor – – – pray tell – – – how does one learn a task or skill?
      IMO responsibility is best learnt in small and increasing doses as one is growing up. Now, on the other hand, it is assumed that one is a child until the 17th year and 364th day of one’s life and then in some miraculous fashion the next day one is fully adult and fully responsible.
      The sad fact of the matter is that there are far too many individuals who are still functioning as children (not only living with their parents but with their parents still filling all their physical, emotional and mental needs) well into their 30s. That’s a great life if you can get it but having this syndrome increase is not only a sad note in our society but at a certain point (prevalence level) this kind of behavior is actually society destructive (society desperately NEEDS not only physical adults but also RESPONSIBLE adults).
      Today in Alberta one is FORCED to pay even a young person at least $15 per hour for their ‘work’. It is a pity that this is seen as a good thing – – – I for one as an employer can’t afford to hire those with no skills and no PROVEN abilities at this level and actually make some money on these kind of employees. This means that the training and experience that young or under trained persons are being deprived of an improvement in not only their income but lives.
      But, of course, if you believe that the government can fix everything, you are expecting the government to train and inculate not only young people but the older deliberately under skilled. (The government is already doing this to some degree, IMHO, and these persons are called social workers and MLAs . . . .)

      • Kissing optional

        Somebody’s missive show a total lack of something, that’s for sure.
        But when it is intentional, I don’t think it is just a lack of understanding.
        A petty besmirch of the duly elected majority government don’t excise that while the 2008 government of the day made an attempt at its due diligent responsibility…


        They took NO action.
        But hey, their desire to protect the capitalists means promoting slavery became their mission statement.
        This is not referring to a family’s child and or adolescent helping and working the family’s farm.
        It is about a backwards group of exploiters no longer being able to swindle their pawns.
        If an employer is paying a living wage to their employees, the legislation will have zero effect on their operations.
        Do worry, if your objective is to whine about the NDP moving you toward the twenty first century, you get to still do that, but you will still have to move forward.

        • old grouchy

          Well – – – you bet there is movement but its not forward into the 21st century – – – rather the Alberta NDPs have taken that wonderful province back, IMO, to somewhere about 1350 to 1500 and the serfdom that was endemic in those times. The massive amounts of debt created by a group of people with precious little knowledge of anything except how to spend money is, to me, quite appalling. When I read what was proposed in Bill 6 (which still hasn’t been written completely by the say) I told others that I thought the bill was going to be about $100 billion in about 10 years of costs. That was mid November – – – the following April the Beloved Leader Notley announced that the indebtedness would be about $67 billion in 4 (!!!!) years. Those that I had talked to before Christmas had dismissed my calculations one and all with responses ranging from accusations of paranoia to laughter at my misunderstanding. Funny – – – those individuals didn’t have much to say when the Beloved Leader herself gave an estimate that is almost double mine of the future indebtedness that has already been created. Taxpayers of 2075 MAY be able to finish paying for the present boondoggle but given out current situation I don’t envision that ever happening.
          Not only am I quite sure that I wouldn’t want to work for any company you might be in charge of but I think that I also could never afford you as an employee, I think you’ve forgotten what business is about – – – a hint – – – its not about giving employees something for nothing.
          Maybe this boondoggle will provide one benefit – – – now that Alberta will have absolutely nothing to put into Confederation maybe Quebec will get to finally carry its own water – – – a first in almost 150 years!

          • Harold

            Your date is somewhat inaccurate. The Socialist Democratic Party is a 1875 German Marxist Political Party that advocate a gradual transition from capitalism to socialism. Socialism is the removal of private ownership to public ownership or rather Government ownership. This explains their heavy-handedness in regards to Bill 6.and other matters. The NDP have done nothing wrong in their eyes, it is their nature; the nature that you have described. The NDP have an agenda to destroy the capitalists in Alberta to meet their ultimate Goal. In Canada, democracy is the root of capitalism and capitalism is the root of democracy and these roots are the foundation of the Canadian Charter. In contrast, there is a reason why the word New is placed before the word Democratic in NDP. The word NEW does not come without a meaning. It wasn’t placed there because they (the party) couldn’t think of some other word.
            Albertans were not taught any real and meaningful history in school, so it is understandable how they got themselves into this mess. Albertans breezed past the word New and thought that it meant – better. You have described what NEW actually looks like in action. 1875. Trudeau is a Liberal with a NDP platform; from him you are seeing the same and no doubt you have already noticed. Did you hear Trudeau say matter of fact, that he admires China’s dictatorship? The rest of us in Canada who are sane only admire Chinese food – and cannot bring ourselves to admire their dictatorship. ND Liberal Party.

        • old grouchy

          Read your included link – – – fascinating – – – written by someone who has nursed at the public trough so long that they see no need for ‘work’. For them ‘work’ is a besmirchment of one’s dignity – – – LOL!!!! Work – – well many of my time started work even before the ages referred to in the document AND we still went to school AND we have mostly become very productive citizens. Most have NOT dove into the public trough. What’s interesting is that those that have done so, from where I grew up, were NOT the ones that were working evenings and weekends. The public pork barrel troughs are infested with those that ‘enjoyed’ work free childhoods (and youth). Your diatribes make me wonder about your background – – – somehow you came to believe that someone or some group owes you a great lunch – – except it doesn’t work that way in the ‘real’ world!

          (ed – – – sorry for the double post – – – but I didn’t read the linked doc until after my response was posted and I’m not allowed to extend a response once its been filed.)

          • Kissing optional

            The link was from the Alberta provincial government of 2008.
            If I’m not mistaken, it’s the government that was tossed because of their endless corruption.
            Not the one that you were smearing.
            Like I said, pay a living wage, the legislation won’t affect you, don’t slave a child, the legislation won’t affect you.

    • Harold

      If you say so. Clearly you’re not being serious or perhaps Old grouchy has nailed it on the head in his opening statement.

  • Kissing optional

    WCB claims have doubled since the year has passed with agribiz just protection legislation.

    Real people getting their just protection instead of being kicked to the gutter as broken and damaged goods.


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