Provincial farm safety co-ordinator Glen Blahey has retired after a 29-year career with the Manitoba government for a new job with the national Canadian Agricultural Safety Association (CASA).
As CASA’s new agricultural health and safety specialist, Blahey will work from the Winnipeg-based CASA office on national farm safety initiatives.
CASA is a Canada-wide network of producer organizations, volunteers and safety and health professionals who co-ordinate, develop and lead nation-wide initiatives to help farmers manage safety risks.
Blahey, as in his previous role, will continue to evaluate safety-related research, develop farm safety resources and promote safe farm operations, but his work will take on a national scope.
“I’ll be working right across the country, not just in Manitoba,” he said.
With now close to 30 years working within the farm community, Blahey said the biggest change he’s seen is the way farmers approach the issue of farm safety.
“When I started out it was very much a personal, emotional issue. Today, and this is particularly true among younger farmers, or those under 40, the farm decision-makers are looking at farm safety and health as a business risk management issue.”
“Their approach is that they have to deal with it because it is a business risk management issue. If anyone becomes ill or injured it’s going to impact their bottom line.”
CASA and the Canadian Federation of Agriculture this year launched “Plan. Farm. Safety” as the theme for a three-year campaign urging farmers to start developing safety plans for their farms as part of an overall business plan.
Blahey said he will be putting a lot of effort into getting information to producers on how to develop these safety plans.
CASA is primarily funded through the federal component of the business development program of the Growing Forward farm policy funding framework, with support from Canadian agribusiness. [email protected]