| ||This spring, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry will offer three FarmSafe Alberta workshops free of charge to agricultural producers interested in developing a health and safety system on their farms. Nicole Hornett, farm safety coordinator with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry describes FarmSafe Alberta as a safety planning tool especially for Alberta farmers and ranchers.
“The workshops will help producers develop a safety system they can implement right away that is specific to their farm,” Hornett says. “Farmers will come out of the workshops with a safety planning manual, the foundations for a safety plan on their farm and a number of contacts to follow up with any future questions.”
In the workshop, producers will examine specific workplace safety risks that they may encounter on their farms. They will be guided by a FarmSafe Advisor to customize a plan with realistic and achievable safety goals to mitigate these risks.
“The FarmSafe Advisors are familiar with agriculture,” says Hornett. “They are keen to arrive at practical solutions for those developing a FarmSafe plan. For some producers, it may simply mean establishing a way to document the good work that’s already being done. For example, many farms have informal coffee meetings which can be a great time to check in on safety issues around the farm. Farmers can keep a dedicated notebook on the staff room table to summarize what was discussed, decide who will take care of any problems, list who was there, sign and date it. The meeting log doesn’t need to be fancy and the meeting doesn’t need to take place in a formal setting.”
The FarmSafe Alberta manual and workshop training is divided into eight modules covering commitment, hazard identification, hazard control, inspections, worker training, emergency response, incident investigation and safety program administration.
Because FarmSafe Alberta was designed to Certificate of Recognition (COR) standards, once producers have developed and implemented their safety system from these workshops, they have the option to apply for a COR through a Certifying Partner. A COR would then make them eligible to receive rebates on their Workers’ Compensation Board premiums.
The two-day workshops will be offered in Taber, St. Paul and Oyen, Alberta:
- March 1 & 2, 2016 at the Taber Agriplex
- March 3 & 4, 2016 at the St. Paul Community Futures building
- March 9 & 10, 2016 at the Oyen town office
Producers interested in attending are required to pre-register for the upcoming FarmSafe Alberta workshop sessions. There is no cost to attend, however workshops are limited to 20 people with a maximum of two people per farm operation. To register, call Lindsay at (780) 427-4187 or email Nicole.Hornett@gov.ab.ca and indicate which session you would like to attend.
Find more information about FarmSafe Alberta on the website.