Farm Work Safety

In spite of recent technological innovations, agriculture continues to depend on the effort of farmworkers in order to function. Aside from the fact that such jobs can be physically exhausting, they are also quite dangerous. Laborers are exposed to heat, chemicals, insects and animals, as well as a number of dangerous vehicles and machines. Given the circumstances, safety training is of paramount importance.

Potential Hazards

The risks most commonly associated with farm work are:

Incident Prevention

Because farmworkers are exposed to so many risks on a daily basis, it is especially important that they are made aware of the dangers associated with their work environments. This can only be obtained through rigorous safety training.

In addition, several measures can be implemented to promote a safer workplace. Personal protective equipment and respirators can be used to avoid exposure to hazardous chemicals, while vehicle use and storage can be guided by strict rules to ensure that no accidents occur. Furthermore, the employer or farm owner can assess the risk of falling where this is necessary and come up with a prevention plan that can then be shared with all workers.

Heat illness tends to be overlooked by most farmworkers, but this disregard can prove to be fatal. Employees must be made aware of the dangers of working in hot weather and encouraged to follow a relief plan whenever they experience symptoms of heat stress. Breaks and appropriate hydration are just a couple of examples that can prevent heat illness.

Safety Courses Recommended for Farm Workers

What You Can Do to Stay Safe

As a farmworker, the first step towards maintaining your safety is to undergo rigorous training and prepare yourself for any dangerous situations you may face while at work. According to Canadian law, your employer is required to provide access to the necessary safety courses for yourself and your colleagues.

If you are a farmhand, pesticide handler, tractor operator, or perform any other task on a farm, please consult our Agriculture and Food industry page to find a comprehensive list of safety courses best suited for your specific line of work.

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