A farm is an amazing place to grow up. I can remember as a kid the joy of being out on the loose for the entire day. And my own boys had the same experience – exploring the bush and creek bank, building things and taking things apart, making elaborate forts with square bales in the barn. They learned to work hard too.
But the blessings of a farm childhood can be mixed ones – there are so many hazards, from large machinery to livestock to toxic chemicals. As the agriculture sector gears up for spring, it’s a perfect time to remember that the farm is a workplace too.
March 13-19 is Canadian Agricultural Safety Week. This year’s theme is “Keeping Kids Safe”—part of a three-year campaign focused on AgSafe Families.
Among the many resources available for Ag Safety Week is a farm safety contract designed to be discussed and signed by both kids and parents. The farm’s safety rules are listed on the contract. The pledge for kids reads “I promise to follow all of our safety rules for our farm. I also promise to talk to my parent(s) about things I see that are not safe or I do not understand.”
The parents’ side of the contract states “I promise to enforce all of our safety rules for our farm. I will do everything I can to keep myself and my child from harm.”
Companies and workplaces much larger than a family farm struggle to develop safety culture and promote commitment at all levels. But at its most basic, even the most sophisticated health and safety program comes down to those basic promises: the promise to work safely, and the promise to keep one another from harm.
Do you have a safety contract? Maybe you should!