Bins and grain handling equipment form hazardous environments that demand training, procedures, and emergency plans to prevent injury and death. | File photo

As grain-handling systems increase in size, so do hazards

In an ideal world, moving grain should be a positive and stress-free task, regardless of whether you’re moving grain off the field and into storage, or out of storage and into the elevator. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. In today’s world of big bushels, super-sized storage bins and high-capacity handling equipment, things can go […] Read more

According to SaskPower, seeding is one of the most dangerous times of the year for accidents involving electrical lines. | File photo

SaskPower urges caution when moving equipment

Saskatchewan’s publicly owned electrical company is reminding farmers and farm workers to look up and live when moving augers and other grain handling and farm equipment. SaskPower said working around overhead power lines without proper care and attention can result in serious injury or even death. Each year in Saskatchewan, more than 300 incidents occur […] Read more

The program is an annual North America-wide operation conducted by agencies that belong to the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance in Canada, the United States and Mexico. | File photo

Roadcheck 2021 begins in Alberta

Alberta’s Sheriff Highway Patrol is stepping up its inspections May 4-6 during Roadcheck 2021, a three-day campaign focusing on commercial vehicle safety. Officers will conduct hundreds of additional inspections throughout the province to ensure commercial vehicle drivers are operating safely. The program is an annual North America-wide operation conducted by agencies that belong to the […] Read more


SaskPower announced its annual “Look up and Live” campaign, reminding farmers to take an extra minute or two when operating machinery around power lines. | File photo

Night work called a factor in farm accidents

A Saskatchewan farmer says an increase in fieldwork being done in the dark is to blame for more power line contacts

Two years ago, Lionel Ector was harvesting a crop near his farm in Elbow, Sask. It was night-time and he was operating a new combine, a demo machine, from a dealer in Saskatoon. He steered the combine around a power pole and then continued on his way. “I straightened out, to go as normal, and […] Read more

On April 23, SaskPower announced its annual

Night work a factor in farm accidents

Two years ago, Lionel Ector was harvesting a crop near his farm in Elbow, Sask. It was night-time and he was operating a new combine, a demo machine, from a dealer in Saskatoon. He steered the combine around a power pole and then continued on his way. “I straightened out, to go as normal, and […] Read more


The bill, if passed, would allow sentencing to include

MP introduces bill to tackle rural crime

A Conservative MP is trying to tackle rural crime by introducing a law that would punish more severely those accused of targeting remote and vulnerable, people or property. Red Deer-Lacombe MP Blaine Calkins brought his proposed law to parliamentarians on April 20. “Rural Canadians too often don’t feel safe in their own homes. Many have […] Read more

In 2020, there were 188 cases where a cultivator, seeder or another implement crashed into a pole or snagged a wire somewhere in the province. | Twitter/@manitobahydro photo

Power pole contact incidents soar

The number of cases where farm machinery hit a pole or snagged a wire was up 57 percent between 2019 and 2020 in Manitoba

Manitoba farmers are hitting more hydro poles and power lines with their farm equipment. In 2020, there were 188 cases where a cultivator, seeder or another implement crashed into a pole or snagged a wire somewhere in the province. That’s up 57 percent from 2019, when there were 120 incidents. Manitoba Hydro, the provincial utility, […] Read more

In 2020, there were 188 cases where a cultivator, seeder or another implement crashed into a pole or snagged a wire somewhere in the province. | Twitter/@manitobahydro photo

Machinery-power line incidents up 57 percent in Manitoba

Manitoba farmers are hitting more hydro poles and power lines with their farm equipment. In 2020, there were 188 cases where a cultivator, seeder or another implement crashed into a pole or snagged a wire somewhere in the province. That’s up 57 percent from 2019, when there were 120 incidents. Manitoba Hydro, the provincial utility, […] Read more


Rescue personnel work to extract one of their members entrapped in a grain bin during a simulation exercise. | Barb Glen photo

Grain rescue – photo essay

Photo essay | The fire department in Magrath, Alta., recently held a training event to teach volunteer firefighters from southern Alberta how to perform grain entrapment rescues. The March 20 session used wheat for the simulation, in part because it is not as itchy as barley. Smaller material such as canola can be even more constrictive on a person who accidentally becomes entrapped in a bin, but regardless of material, entrapment can be fatal. Among other things, firefighters learned how to handle a small auger that extracts grain from around a person trapped in a bin. They ran through the protocol before undertaking a rescue involving actual grain and extraction made possible by a mobile unit dedicated to the purpose. The training unit allows rescue personnel to learn and practice grain extraction using a realistic scenario. | Barb Glen photos

The fire department in Magrath, Alta., recently held a training event to teach volunteer firefighters from southern Alberta how to perform grain entrapment rescues. The March 20 session used wheat for the simulation, in part because it is not as itchy as barley. Smaller material such as canola can be even more constrictive on a […] Read more

On farms and ranches across Canada, compressed gas cylinders supply fuel gases and oxygen to specially designed torches that are used for heating and cutting, but also welding, brazing, or soldering. There are some basic safety precautions that everyone using these gases should know. | File photo

The basics of oxy-fuel safety for welding on the farm

A fuel gas combined with pure oxygen will produce a flame with an extremely high temperature and an enormous quantity of heat. On farms and ranches across Canada, compressed gas cylinders supply fuel gases and oxygen to specially designed torches that are used for heating and cutting, but also welding, brazing, or soldering. There are […] Read more