Sweet dreams promote safe farming

When it comes to safe farming, getting plenty of sleep is part of the job.

Get plenty of sleep for a safe farm. That was one of the messages given at the Farm Safety and Health seminar held in Winnipeg on Nov. 6 and 7.

Marcel Hacault, executive director for Canadian Agricultural Safety Association said 66 per cent of Canadian farmers work when they are tired.

Hacault urged producers not only to get sleep but to learn how to sleep.

“I rely heavily on CBC to help me fall asleep,” he joked, but added it is no joke that farmers need to get their rest.

Farmers know they shouldn’t work when they are fatigued, nor should they work into the night. But often threats of bad weather on the horizon or just the daunting number of fields due for work will keep farmers working long after dark. New equipment with better lighting increases the temptation.

Farmers attending the seminar gave no argument.

Doug Chorney, chair of the safety committee for Keystone Agricultural Producers admitted that he is inclined to give it his all when he is busy.

It’s not that farmers don’t want to be safe, but they often get so caught up racing against time and weather that taking a break is the last thing on their mind.

But Dr. Rob Chase, of the Occupational Health Centre said farming should be a healthier lifestyle.

“Farmers are able to control what and how things are done,” he said.

Most of Chase’s presentation was geared to help farmers learn to work more sensibly with chemicals and farm dust, but he emphasized the preventability of most of the risk factors.

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