2007 Alberta Farm Fatalities

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Rural Alberta lost 12 people due to farming related fatalities in 2007. Alberta Agriculture and Food's Farm Safety Program works with the Medical Examiners Office to collect statistics on the number of fatalities as well as the cause. This information is used to help the FS program decide on program direction and resource development.

The 2007 statistics indicate a decrease as compared to the average rate of 18 deaths per year in Alberta. This drop was also reflected in the number of farm related injuries in 2007 which was just below 1000 compared to the average of 1500 per year.

2007 farm related fatalities:

3 rollovers
2 crush incidents (one a round bale, one front end loader)
1 farmers lung
3 falls from horses
1 tractor runover (4 yr old)
1 buried in grain
1 entanglement (under a grain truck)

4 were over 60, one child, 2 women

Of the 12 fatalities, 7 involved machinery, highlighting the need to be very cautious around farm machinery. This includes the operator and also those who are working in close proximity. Even more importantly it means ensuring children are not around large machinery - one of the fatalities involved the death of a 4 year old boy who was run over by the tractor his father was driving. Children do not understand the hazards of the farm yard and they are in great danger of being runover by operators who do not have a clear view of the immediate surroundings from the cab of a tractor.

Farm managers are encouraged to ensure all operators are trained in the safe operation of any equipment they will be operating. Machinery should be well maintained and in good operating condition. This includes ensuring that all guards and shields are in place protecting operators from moving parts.

Three of the deaths were a result of falls from horses. In addition approximately 40% of the injuries in 2007 were attributed to working with livestock. These injuries tend to be evenly split between horses and cattle. Farmers need to give themselves a safety margin when working with livestock. This could mean wearing a helmet when riding horses and making sure someone knows where you are when you go riding. When working with cattle, a well maintained cattle handing facility that allows workers to process cattle from a safe vantage point will go a long way towards decreasing the number of kick, stepped on or crush injuries. Workers who have to get into a pen with livestock, must ensure that they have an escape route - to be able to get out quickly if suddenly faced with an angry or panicked animal .

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For more information about the content of this document, contact Kenda Lubeck.
This information published to the web on March 11, 2008.
Last Reviewed/Revised on October 24, 2017.