The Manitoba government has created a new farm safety specialist position to help farmers stay safe — and avoid Workplace Health and Safety inspection infractions.
“This role is a great opportunity to get some workshops back on track and help anyone who is looking for assistance in developing an on-farm safety plan,” said newly appointed farm safety specialist Morag Marjerison.
“At your request, I can come to your operation and advise you, help you understand regulations, how they apply to your farm and assist you in seeing your operation through an inspector’s eyes,” said Marjerison, a former safety and health officer.
“The new position, created through the Keystone Agriculture Producers and SAFE Work Manitoba, is a farm safety specialist, who can assist farmers in improving farm safety, help prepare for inspections from Workplace Health and Safety and prevent enforcement action by making improvements at the farm prior to an inspection,” said Jeff Shaw, farm and safety co-ordinator with the government of Manitoba.
Representatives from SAFE Manitoba outlined workplace injury and illness statistics during a presentation at the Manitoba Potato Production Days held in Brandon, Man., Jan. 28.
Consultations from the farm safety specialist are a free resource and any plans or information obtained during the consultation process are kept 100 per cent confidential from Workplace Health and Safety.
Marjerison also urged potato producers in attendance to be present at a sector-specific workshop being held in late February.
“I would really encourage everyone to come out to these workshops so we can really determine what your industry needs and what is going to be useful to you so that we can really get things moving forward.”
The potato workshops are scheduled to take place at the University of Manitoba research farm near Carman Feb. 24 and at the Manitoba Crop Diversification Centre near Carberry Feb. 25.
Workshops will include updates on what has changed with legislation and how it will affect potato producers, safety and health issues that have recently been found on farms and alterations you might want to consider on your operation.
Shaw and Marjerison will be hosting the workshops and will also be available to schedule on-farm consultations to anyone interested.
Marjerison is the only farm safety specialist consultant in the province and will be working with producers from all sectors.
For more information on upcoming workshops or to book an on-farm safety consult, contact Marjerison at (204) 761-0896.