FREDERICTON (GNB) – New Brunswick's minister responsible for agriculture wants farmers to Get with the Plan!

Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries Minister Michael Olscamp is encouraging farmers to embrace the Get with the Plan! theme of Canadian Agricultural Safety Week, March 10 to 16, by developing their own written health and safety plans.
“The agricultural industry ranks in Canada's top three most hazardous work environments, but only one in every 10 farmers has a written health and safety plan,” said Olscamp. “It is important for farm owners, managers, and workers to embrace Canadian Agricultural Safety Week by developing their own written health and safety plans because farming has its risks and being prepared is important.”

Canadian Agricultural Safety Week is held annually to promote the importance of farm safety in hopes of encouraging a safer and more productive agricultural industry.

“Identifying hazards is a key component to preventing injuries in any sector,” said Nicole McLaughlin, education consultant with WorkSafeNB. “Though informal inspections should be done throughout the day, it is also important to conduct monthly formal inspections of the entire workplace. It is essential to have a checklist of things to verify and note any issues that arise.  This is an important part of a safety plan.”

Farming is an important contributor to New Brunswick's economy, and generates more than 13,000 jobs in primary production and secondary processing activities. The province also boasts one of the highest rates of value-added processing with 80 per cent of agriculture products being processed in the province before going to market.

“Canadian Agricultural Safety Week is an excellent opportunity for producers to reflect on farm safety prevention for their day-to-day operations,” said Jennifer MacDonald, president of the Agricultural Alliance of New Brunswick. “We encourage producers to develop an effective farm safety prevention plan, as we need to consider farm safety all year.”

The Canadian Agricultural Safety Association and the Canadian Federation of Agriculture work together to organize the annual Canadian Agricultural Safety Week.  They work with Farm Credit Canada as well as Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. The Agricultural Alliance of New Brunswick, Safety Services New Brunswick and New Brunswick 4-H Council Ltd. support the campaign.