Strengthening safety in B.C.’s dairy industry
New resources strive to prevent serious injuries and fatalitiesPublished on: December 01, 2016
Richmond, B.C. – WorkSafeBC, AgSafe, and the BC Dairy Association have teamed up to create new dairy farming safety resources that aim to strengthen occupational safety for one of the province’s most important industries. While the number of time-loss claims in the dairy industry remains stable, during the ten-year period from 2006 to 2015, there were six work-related deaths and 126 serious injuries recorded.
The new WorkSafeBC publication Health and Safety for Dairy Farms describes basic health and safety requirements for dairy farm owners and employers. It is accompanied by a related Forms and Checklists document that owners and employers can use as part of their overall health and safety program.
“We’ve seen an increase in the number of work-related deaths and serious injuries in the dairy industry over the last 10 years,” says Doug Pasco, WorkSafeBC agriculture industry specialist. “We hope the new safety resources will help raise awareness about workplace health and safety and help prevent future deaths and serious injuries.”
Top four sources of injuries on B.C. dairy farms:
- Animals (33%)
- Working surfaces (19%)
- Machines and vehicles (12%)
- Buildings and structures (9%)
“Dairy farms are one of the most diverse working environments and workplace hazards are not always animal related,” says Tadhg O’Leary, AgSafe agricultural safety advisor. “It’s a farmer’s responsibility to eliminate those hazards by developing a comprehensive workplace safety plan. This guide was developed using feedback from our dairy farm members about the safety challenges they face. This is a user-friendly safety tool that will help dairy farmers improve worker safety and regulatory compliance,” says O’Leary.
The BC Dairy Industry Conference takes place in Vancouver from November 30 to December 2. WorkSafeBC, AgSafe, and the BC Dairy Association will be represented at the conference and the brand new resources will be given out to the more than 500 attendees.
“Occupational safety is an ongoing concern for B.C. dairy farmers,” says Trevor Hargreaves, BC Dairy Association director of Producer Relations and Communications. “As part of our industry commitment toward ever-improving standards and practices, we’re pleased to work with WorkSafeBC and AgSafe on these initiatives. The new guide assists with improving safety awareness and practices, thereby reducing the incidents of serious work-related injury,” says Hargreaves.
WorkSafeBC is an independent provincial statutory agency governed by a Board of Directors that serves 2.3 million workers and more than 225,000 employers. WorkSafeBC was born from the historic compromise between B.C.’s workers and employers in 1917 where workers gave up the right to sue their employers and fellow workers for injuries on the job in return for a no-fault insurance program fully paid for by employers. WorkSafeBC is committed to safe and healthy workplaces and to providing return-to-work rehabilitation and legislated compensation benefits.
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