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Agriculture Initiative

The Agriculture Initiative was developed through examination of claims data and identification of work activities with the highest potential for causing serious injury. The initiative focuses prevention activities on identified areas of high risk in order to apply resources and effort where they will be most effective.

Goals

The 2018–2020 Agriculture Initiative is designed to prevent injury, particularly fatal or serious injuries, in the top exposure categories in the agriculture subsector.

The main serious accident types in agriculture are identified as:

  • Caught in or struck by machinery or conveyors or metal items
  • Falls from elevation including falls from ladders, animals, and non-moving equipment
  • Motorized non-road vehicles and machinery incidents
  • Slips, trips, and loss of balance

Approaches

The primary approach for the initiative includes targeted inspections across the agriculture subsector, focusing on hazards related to the following areas:

  • Struck by (animals, materials, products, equipment, machinery, etc.)
  • Falls from elevation (ladders, work platforms, lofts, elevated storage areas, lack of safe access, floor openings, missing or inadequate guardrails, roof structures, etc.)
  • Falls on the same elevation (slipping and tripping hazards, accumulations of waste materials, manure pits, etc.)
  • Identification of and access to confined spaces and other hazardous locations (e.g., manure storage)
  • Informal and formal health and safety programs (including training records)
  • Documented new and young worker training (including seasonal workers)
  • Tractor safety (ROPS, seat belts, PTOs)
  • Equipment and machine safeguarding and lockout
  • Storage and use of pesticides and other chemicals

Other inspections will include:

  • Roadside inspections of farm labour transport vehicles
  • Re-inspection of mushroom and green waste composting sites to ensure exposure control plans continue to be effective
  • Partnering with federal agencies and the Mexican Consulate to increase health and safety awareness through coordinated inspections and outreach activities (in relation to the federal Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program)

2019 additional focus

When we developed the 2018–2020 initiative, we recognized that within the three-year time frame we would need to retain flexibility to add additional focus areas. In 2019, an additional area of focus is cannabis production, an emerging industry in the agriculture subsector. There are many large cannabis growing facilities starting up in B.C.; some are former vegetable greenhouses that have being sold and/or converted to cannabis production and others are new facilities under construction. This is a rapidly expanding industry with a large workforce made up primarily of new and young workers.

We will engage with workers and employers in this industry to ensure that they understand and fulfill their occupational health and safety rights and responsibilities.

Deliverables and timelines

Activities Details
Focused inspections
Q1–Q4 2019
  • Conduct inspections of the targeted employer locations (initiating inspections Q1–Q2, follow-up inspections Q3–Q4)
Consultations and education activities
Q1–Q4 2019
  • Participate in the 2019 Pacific Agricultural Show and other industry events
  • Consult, partner, and collaborate with key industry stakeholders to address key health and safety issues
  • Deliver key messaging and education to employers and workers
  • Develop resources and implement outreach programs in support of the strategic focus areas
  • Engage with cannabis growers to facilitate the exchange of safety-related information

Updates and results

As part of our strategic initiative to develop measures to assess the effectiveness of prevention activities, we are providing updates of our High Risk Strategies and Industry Initiatives.

Note: To save space in bulleted lists, our update documents may refer to occupational health and safety as OHS. All references to the Act, refer to Part Three of the Workers Compensation Act. Penalties and warning letters reported in updates may have been initiated by inspections in a previous quarter.

Related resources