Personal stories help bring Ag Safety Week to life

Marketing changes for Prairie wheat and barley

Highlights

  • Ag Safety Week features a mix of live and online activities that highlight farm safety
  • CASA co-ordinates, develops safety training and awareness programs across the country
  • The campaign hopes to keep safety top of mind as the farming season approaches

Accidents always happen to somebody else.

A least that’s what Réjean Pommainville thought until that summer afternoon in 2009 when he fell from the top of a loaded hay wagon and shattered his left heel on the ground. “It changed my life,” says the third-generation farmer, who was 54 at the time. 

Still dogged by chronic pain from the injury, which required metal plates and 14 screws to fix, he was forced to quit dairy farming and take up cash crop production, which is less physically demanding.

That’s why Pommainville puts so much stock in initiatives like Canadian Agricultural Safety Week (CASW). Held in mid-March since 1986, CASW features a mix of live and online activities that highlight farm safety according to a particular theme.

When you’ve done something all your life, you don’t stop to consider the danger.

Safer farms for all

There are a host of people who live on, work at or visit farms, from family members and friends to suppliers and service providers,” says Marcel Hacault, Executive Director of the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association (CASA). “For the next three years, we’ll drill down deeper on the dangers these individuals face, using data and personal stories of injuries and fatalities on Canadian farms.”

Headquartered in Winnipeg and funded by various supporters, notably Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and Farm Credit Canada, CASA co-ordinates, develops and runs a variety of safety training and awareness programs across the country. CASW is both a cornerstone and the marquis event in the organization’s efforts to help Canadian farmers recognize and manage safety risks.

“It helps get our message out in the media and on social media,” he says. “And it’s a good time of year to raise awareness and get safety on people’s minds, because the farming season is just getting going.

From an AgriSuccess article (March/April 2016) by Mark Cardwell.