It seems we are all becoming more safety conscious in many aspects of our daily lives. All citizens, urban and rural, certainly need to be more aware of safety issues, and safety on the farm is so very important.
There are 346,000 farm operators in Canada, three-fifths of which are run by a single operator. Just over half of the farm incidents happen while the victim is working alone, while about 25 per cent happen in the presence of a family member.
On average, 114 people are killed and another 1,500 are seriously injured by farm-related incidents in Canada each year. Almost half of these are caused by farm machinery and over a third involve children under 15 or adults over 65.
It’s estimated that farmers are five times more likely to be killed through occupation-related accidents than workers in all other industries. Agriculture also has the highest rate of disabling injuries among all other industries.
Tractors account for almost half of farm fatalities. Agricultural machinery, other than tractors, account for almost one-quarter of fatalities, and the remaining quarter are by causes not related to machinery, including livestock attacks, falls, drowning, and electrocution.
Rural areas have injury rates 1.5 times higher than urban areas, which includes adults and children.
Children account for almost 20 per cent of all agriculture injuries and fatalities.
Children living on farms face unique injury risks as they live and play in an environment often characterized by heavy equipment, huge vehicles, and large animals, as well as parents with unpredictable work demands.
What is being done about farm safety, especially for children? One area is education and training programs. There are school-based programs effective in increasing safety knowledge as well as programs promoting bicycle and ATV safety training.
There is also the ‘Chatham-Kent Farm Safety Day’, which was held at the University of Guelph Ridgetown Campus on Tuesday. Over 120 children learned safety in regards to lawn mowers, water and streams, cold water rescue, chemicals, bike and buses, tractors, first aid, and much more.
It is vital we provide our children with an interactive place where they can learn, experience, and remember valuable life saving lessons they will carry with them into adulthood. The Chatham-Kent Children’s Safety Village, located at the C.M. Wilson Conservation Area, is another proven educational tool.
There’s no better way of teaching than to offer someone a real life experience and the Chatham-Kent Children’s Safety Village is as real as it gets!
Programming is for students in Grades 1, 4 and 6. The students are provided with safety instruction in various areas including: fire, water and ice, bicycle, pedestrian, school bus, internet, farm, basic first aid, electrical, and railway safety. Safety involves every one of us, young and not so young, urban, and rural. So why not become involved in teaching safety to yourself and especially to our children here in Chatham-Kent?
Think about this – Give your troubles to God. He’ll be up all night anyhow.
Just some food for thought.
Here in Chatham-Kent ‘WE GROW FOR THE WORLD’. Check out our community’s agricultural website at: www.wegrowfortheworld.com
Kim Cooper has been involved in the agribusiness sector for over 45 years. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also follow him on Twitter at ‘theAGguy’