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Does that dust mask fit? Are you sure?

Registrations are still open for two free Manitoba Farm Safety Program conferences on Nov. 26 and Nov. 28

If you’re not sure you’ve got the right size of dust mask on, it might be worth an expert opinion.

Disposable respiratory masks are omnipresent on most farms, one of the most basic pieces of personal protective equipment and, along with earplugs, likely make up at least some of the clutter in the average machinery shed or mudroom. But the Manitoba Farm Safety Program says it has noted poor-fitting equipment among those basic protections, and not just the elaborate harnesses meant to stop a fall from the grain bins.

“If they have some (personal protective equipment), that’s lucky, but often if they do have it, it’s not fitted correctly,” the program’s communications manager, Renée Simcoe, said.

The farm safety program hopes two day-long conferences in Brandon and Winnipeg may help cut back on the problem. Both are centred on personal protective equipment, how to use it and how to fit it for greatest effect.

The conference, “Fitting Safety into Farming,” will take place Nov. 26 in Brandon and again at the Victoria Inn in Winnipeg Nov. 28. Both events are free to producers.

“It was a topic that it took us about five seconds to come to decide on,” Simcoe said.

Morag Marjerison, the program’s farm safety consultant will be among the main speakers both days.

Respiratory mask safety will make an appearance, bracketed by noise protection, advice for working with chemicals and pesticides, squeezing into confined spaces safely and tips for working at heights.

“Safety harnesses are one of the things that (Morag) sees so often that are just thrown on and not actually fitted correctly or tightened where they should be,” Simcoe said.

Neither conference is at capacity and the farm safety program is still taking entries. Winnipeg’s event was about half-full, Simcoe said, while the attendance list in Brandon also has room to grow.

Interested farmers can register on the Manitoba Farm Safety Program website.

About the author

Reporter

Alexis Stockford is a journalist and photographer with the Manitoba Co-operator. She previously reported with the Morden Times and was news editor of  campus newspaper, The Omega, at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, BC. She grew up on a mixed farm near Miami, Man.

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