March 17, 2017
LHSC is recognizing farm safety week, March 12-19, 2017. As the designated lead trauma hospital for the southwestern Ontario region, London Health Sciences Centre plays a leadership role in the specialized care of moderately and severely injured adults and children, including farming injuries. LHSC's Trauma Program coordinates services to meet regional needs and participates in local, provincial and national programs related to education, research and injury prevention.
From 2003 to 2012, there were 843 agriculture-related fatalities in Canada, an average of 84 per year, 66 per cent occurred from May to October according to the Canadian Agricultural Injury Report.
Overall, the top three causes of agriculture-related fatalities were: machine run overs (18 per cent), machine rollovers (17 per cent), and being pinned or struck by a machine component (nine per cent).
Agriculture is a unique industry with children and elderly sustaining significant numbers of severe work-related injuries. Farms and ranches are not just work sites, but places where people of all ages live and participate in recreational activities. It is common for farmers to work full-time and operate tractors and heavy machinery into their 70s and 80s.
Farm children live in a workplace that exposes them to heavy machinery, dangerous chemicals, livestock and other hazards. Injuries can be prevented by having a designated play area in the farmyard.
- The play area should be separate from traffic and work areas.
- Should be easily identified, with fences if possible.
- Should be free of dangerous debris, with enough room to run and explore.
Set up appropriate rules for children to follow and supervise the children with chores/farm tasks. The North American Guidelines for Children’s Agricultural Tasks can help answer questions that parents often have regarding the role of their child in agricultural. Please see the website, www.nagcat.org/