Ag Safety Week organizers encourage farmers to get with the plan

This March, the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association (CASA), the Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA), and exclusive corporate sponsor Farm Credit Canada (FCC) want to encourage farmers to “Get with the Plan!” just in time for Canadian Agricultural Safety Week, March 10 to 16, 2013.

Canadian Agricultural Safety Week (CASW) is an annual public education campaign focusing on the importance of practising safe agriculture. In 2013, organizers want to inspire farmers to develop their own written health and safety plans by hearing about the struggles, and successes of other Canadian farmers.

“It’s not just about connecting the dots. It’s not even just about managing business risks or becoming a preferred employer, although those are all great benefits of safety planning,” says Marcel Hacault, executive director of CASA. “It’s about making a commitment to safety. That’s why it’s important for farmers to hear from other producers who have faced injuries, or achieved success with their own safety planning, because producers can learn from one another and motivate each other in the process.”

As part of CASW, CASA, CFA and FCC are working with local organizations to host two FarmSafe Forum events in Guelph, Ontario and Truro, Nova Scotia this week. Both FarmSafe Forum events will feature a day-long, free, on-farm inspection training workshop for farmers and students, as well as presentations from local farmers and community leaders.

“As a farmer myself, I can vouch for the importance of on-farm safety. It makes good business sense, but it’s also a responsibility we have to ourselves, our families and employees. We encourage all farmers to develop a safety plan and to take advantage of the resources available through CASA, including the FarmSafe Forums,” says CFA president Ron Bonnett.

“With an industry that’s growing, there’s even more need to ensure safety in our business practices,” says Remi Lemoine, vice-president and chief operating officer at FCC. “We’re committed to helping Canadian producers stay safe at work, and encourage thoughtful planning through written health and safety plans. This year’s Canadian Agricultural Safety Week is a great forum to be inspired, and make safety a priority.”

Canadian Agricultural Safety Week takes place every year during the third week of March. This year, CASW runs from March 10 to 16, 2013. For more information about CASW or FarmSafe Forum events, or to access CASW media kits, go to www.agsafetyweek.ca.

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