Canadian Agricultural Safety Association - Association canadienne de sécurité agricole

Liaison, Fall 2010

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PLAN. FARM. SAFETY. - working the plan


Hilton Suites Airport Hotel, Winnipeg, MB

November 16 – 17, 2010
Plus: Confined Spaces Workshop Monday, November 15, 8:30am – 2:30pm
The Canadian Agricultural Safety Association is holding its annual conference and AGM at the Hilton Suites Airport Hotel in Winnipeg, Manitoba, November 16 – 17/10.  It’s THE national farm safety meeting of the year.  Be there!
The theme is PLAN.FARM.SAFETY. - working the plan.  Everyone involved in farm safety in Canada – professionals, researchers, producers, suppliers and manufacturers – is invited to share solutions for positive transformation within Canada’s ag safety culture.
Most farmers say farm safety is a priority in their operation but they want more training and tools to help minimize safety risks for themselves, their families and employees. That’s why CASA is holding a conference to understand what’s needed and plan next steps to support regional and national ag safety programs that will make a difference.  Be there. 
Registration is:
  • $225.00 for CASA members. 
  • $275.00 for non-members.  Join CASA or renew online at
Registration covers the Monday workshop, all sessions Tuesday and Wednesday, three lunches and the Tuesday evening Manitoba Social.  Most sessions are available in French and English. 
You may register to attend only the Monday workshop on Safety in Confined Agricultural Spaces lead by BC safety consultant Scott Fraser set for 8:30 am – 2:30 pm at the Hilton Suites Airport Hotel. Check the appropriate box on the conference registration form.  Cost per person is $25.00 (including lunch). 
Check out the evolving program.  All sessions will be held at the Hilton Suites Airport Hotel in Winnipeg where a room block will be held until October 29/10.  Rates are $129.00 plus taxes.
Book early to hold your room at the Hilton Suites Airport Hotel in Winnipeg:
  • On line – for the CASA special rates
  • Call the hotel at (204)783-1700 for in-house reservations agents
  • Call the Hilton reservation line – 1-800-HILTONS.  Ask for the CASA conference rate, which will apply during the conference as well as two days before and after the conference.
Register today.

PLAN.FARM.SAFETY. - a call to action!
 - Dean Anderson, CASA Chair

PLAN.FARM.SAFETY. – I hope is that these three words will become a sort of mantra for all of us in the farm safety biz the next three years!  They’re a call to action - for farmers to build a safety plan into their operational management plan. 
We know fewer than 1 in 5 Canadian farmers have a safety plan right now.  Almost 90 per cent of the farmers surveyed in 2008 by Farm Credit Canada said farm safety was important to them but only 15 per cent actually walked the talk with a safety plan. 
To help change that behavior, farm safety communications staff from most of the provincial and ag commodity organizations met last year to craft messaging that could bridge three years of diverse ag safety education.  The result - PLAN.FARM.SAFETY.

You should see these three words on websites, in brochures and in media messages across the country.  This year – 2010 – the focus is on “PLAN”.  The messages encourage producers to make a checklist of safety hazards on their farms.  For a hopper full of possible lists, go to Links to Farm Safety Checklists at

You may remember hearing about this theme and focus during Canadian Agricultural Safety Week back in March.  The Week’s nine media releases, stories and visuals are on CASA’s website under Canadian Agricultural Safety Week. Use them again.

This fall, there’ll be more.  A series of media releases will go out in the next few months reinforcing the need for a safety plan and giving guidance on how to put one in action.  In other words - PLAN.

Then next year, 2011, farm safety communications across the country will focus on the word that’s central to the entire exercise – FARM.  Starting in January, you’ll see a new set of media releases, stories and images encouraging producers to implement safety solutions to manage the risk and control the hazard.

Look on CASA’s site for new images and graphics that reinforce the theme.  There’s a video currently in production to point out economical solutions to cut the major safety risks.  The video will be launched during the 2011 Safety Week set for March 13 – 19. 

PLAN.FARM.SAFETY. – working the plan!  is the theme for CASA’s conference set for Winnipeg this November 15 – 17 at the Hilton Suites Airport hotel.  Register today at, where else? -

Contact CASA’s office at 1-877-452-2272 for communications messaging and graphics to support your PLAN. And get with the PLAN – FARM SAFE-ly! 

Dean Anderson, CASA Chair

A Safe farm is a Successful farm -
Marcel Hacault, Executive Director CASA

Working on the basic premise that a safe farm is a successful farm, CASA is redoubling its efforts to promote safe farm operations and management under the banner of PLAN.FARM.SAFETY.  You’ll see evidence of this national plan in this newsletter and at the annual conference in November.  Don’t miss either!

We know that farmers with safety plans and procedures in place will be able to improve productivity, compete with other industries for labour and reduce their financial risks by minimizing costs related to ag illnesses, injury, death and disabilities.  

The addition of ag safety and health specialist Glen Blahey to CASA’s team will definitely enhance the development and delivery of national ag safety initiatives through CASA.  His many years of experience and his network of contacts will expand CASA’s reach and influence across North America.  Welcome Glen.

Thanks to the volunteer committee who so expertly spread limited CASHP funds to a wide selection of projects this year.  You’ll be able to see results of projects funded last year during an expo planned for the second day of the November conference.

Training the trainer and the farmer got easier this fall with the partnership of CASA and FCC that created the FCC Ag Safety Fund.  Be sure to check CASA’s website for details and an application form.  Applications close October 27. The Fund is intended to help groups deliver ag safety training to producers in Canada or provide training for those who will train others in safe agricultural practices.
FCC is also partnering with CASA to produce a video highlighting practical solutions farmers can use to manage identified safety risks.  The video was shot in August in Ontario, Manitoba and BC.  It’ll be launched next March around Canadian Agricultural Safety Week and will be posted on CASA’s newly designed website.
And there are more partnerships in the making as agri-business steps up to make safety training and resources available to their clients.  CASA is always ready to talk - on any ag safety matter.  Call 1-877-452-2272, email and check our website often at
Marcel Hacault

Glen Blahey joins the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association as Health and Safety Specialist

Well-known farm safety professional Glen Blahey retired from the Manitoba government August 27 and joined CASA as the health and safety specialist August 30!  
CASA’s executive director Marcel Hacault is “very pleased Glen Blahey has joined the CASA team. We are currently working on developing new projects with corporate partners and Glen will be a great help to move these initiatives forward.”
Glen says he’s happy too.  “I continue to believe that CASA is one the most effective vehicles for influencing the continued growth and understanding of occupational safety and health in the primary agriculture sector,” Blahey explains. “I am excited to work with CASA and its extensive network of producer organizations, volunteers, and safety and health professionals.”
Blahey is an accredited health and safety professional with Canadian Registered Safety Professional (CRSP) designation. He was the first Canadian to join the National Institute for Farm Safety Inc., and was also past-president.
Blahey has over 28 years experience in agricultural as well as occupational health and safety industries. He holds a Bachelor of Education degree from the U of MB and a diploma in Industrial Arts from Red River College in Winnipeg.

Most farmers work safe every day

Most of us want to do the right thing.  And most of us do it. Including farmers.

Take a look at the numbers from the 2008 farm safety report card gleaned from Farm Credit Canada’s online survey of Canadian farmers.

It turns out that three out of four Canadian farmers replace guards on machinery such as augers and PTOs.  Seventy-nine percent of them train new workers in good safety practices. Eighty-nine percent handle equipment safely and 93 percent work hard to keep their kids safe on the farm. 

Most farmers incorporate good safety practices into their work every day.  That’s what the numbers say.  They paint a positive picture of safety habits on most Canadian farms.  Yet those same farmers told the same surveyors that while safety is a priority on their farms, they don’t believe most farmers pay enough attention to it!

Their general perception of farmers is that old habits, lack of time and high costs of safety modifications prevent most farmers from paying enough attention to good safety practices.  Most farmers who replied to this survey thought most farmers take safety shortcuts to get the job done. 

But the survey results clearly show that most farmers do the right farm safety thing.  They may not have a detailed safety plan and they admit to working too long when they’re too tired, but most of them practise good farm safety.  They’re farm safe.  That’s something to celebrate. 

Check out the numbers in the FCC Farm Safety Report Card linked from the home page of the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association at

And yet, we know that over a hundred people – young, mature and in-between – will die on Canadian farms this year.  So what’s to be done?  Would broadcasting to one and all the positive attitude and practice that is the community norm – the normal behavior, what most people do – in Canada’s farming community help all farm families farm safely?

Perhaps it’s worth a try.  At least that’s what Jeff Linkenbach and his team from Montana State University told about 150 participants in the Montana Summer Institute this July.  Linkenbach is the director of MOST of US at the Centre for the Study of Health and Safety Culture at Montana State University.  He’s also the leader of a Positive Community Norms (PCN) team.

He says upfront that PCN is an evolving and growing field of research and practice, but he holds that challenging people’s commonly held perceptions about their environment and the behavior of their peers will build the energy and willingness of the community to engage in healthier, safer behaviours. 

For instance, you know that statistics of fatalities on the farm and photos of tractor rollovers are not enough to change your behavior and make you safer on the farm.  It can’t happen to you, right? 

But there’s increasing research to show that you will be interested in changing your behavior if you know most of your peers are changing, or are already practising the safer behavior.  

You’ll be hearing and seeing more of this positive attitude in ag safety messaging throughout the country in the next few years.  It’s already in use in the UK where a video “Embrace Life” has gone viral – and has made a safety difference. Check it out at

And think of it when you get in the tractor or the combine.   Most farmers do!

New teaching tools at Manitoba Farmers with Disabilties

Manitoba Farmers with Disabilities are showcasing farm safety around the province.  In 2009, the group used a $13,000 CASHP grant as base funding to produce four portable teaching displays on grain suffocation, tractor rollovers, auger safety, and combine safety.
Volunteers from MFWD will bring the showcases to presentations in Manitoba.  To book a speaker, call (204)-436-3181. More details are available at

MFWD Grain Bin Safety Showcase:
  • Children should not be permitted to work or play in an area where there is flowing grain. It is dangerous to people of all ages, especially children
  • Never enter a grain bin alone; have at least two people at the bin to assist in case problems arise.
  • Use a safety harness or safety line when entering the bin.
  • Control the access to grain storage facilities to prevent grain entrapments.
Farm Machinery Safety:

Combine Safety:
  • Always walk around the equipment before starting it up.
  • Never work on machinery with the motor running.
  • Children are never to approach a combine in the field.
  • A combine is not a play structure.
  • No second riders.

PTO Safety:
  • Never work on machinery with the motor running.
  • Children should never be near a running PTO.
  • Stay clear of a spinning PTO or PTO shaft and never operate them without all shields in place.

Tractor Safety:
  • Read and understand all the safety information in the manuals that accompany your tractor before you attempt to operate it.
  • If you do not understand the operation of the tractor -Ask for proper instruction.
  • Install Roll Over Protection System (ROPS). Never operate the tractor without your seatbelt fastened.
  • Exercise extreme caution when operating on slopes and when making turns, especially if the tractor is equipped with heavy implements on the 3-point hitch or front-end loader.

Grain Auger Safety:
  • Always leave shields in place.
  • Start grain augers safely.
  • Empty the auger before stopping it.
  • Be careful when moving augers
  • Always look up!
  • Adjust grain auger height carefully.

Animal Handling Safety  


What is unsafe about this coral and how the animals are being handled?
  • The man with the horse is tied with a rope.
  •  A dog is in the coral causing the animals to panic.  
  •  Fencing is in poor repair.  
SAFE Calving Pen:
What is safe about this calving pen?
  • Cow and calf are together which reduces stress on both animals.
  • The person is safe because the cow is restrained.
  • Remember to wear rubber gloves if the animal is ill or injured.
UNSAFE Tractor carrying a bale:
What is unsafe about this operation?
  • Man is not dressed safely.
  • Tractor has no roll bar or safety belts.

Safety teaching tools to borrow or buy

To check prices and place an order, call David Vielfaure at 1-877-452-2272 or email shopping@casa-acsa.caor visit
Borrow or Buy - Chemical Look-a-Like Kit
Get a competition going to choose the safe versus the poisonous chemical – simply by appearance. It can’t be done. That’s the point.

Chemical Look-a-Like Kit
Borrow - PTO (Power Take Off) Display
Follow the accompanying safety instructions carefully to demonstrate the incredible speed and danger of a revolving PTO shaft.

Power Take Off Display
Borrow -  Gravity Flow Wagon
Use this wagon to show how quickly a person can get trapped and suffocate in a grain bin.

 Gravity Flow Wagon
Borrow -  Fatal Vision Goggle Kit
There are 15 goggles in this kit to allow your group special insight on how to get through the day with severe visual impairment.

 Fatal Vision Goggle Kit
Borrow or Buy - Stop, Drop, & Roll Vests Kit
These heavy plastic yellow vests sport three red velcroed ‘flames’ that come off and stick to carpet when participants stop, drop, and roll!

Stop, Drop, and Roll Vests
Borrow or Buy - Gelatin Brain Moulds
Five life-size brain moulds come along with instructions on how to make a brain-like gel to set inside. Flip the ‘brain’ out of the moulds and you have a slimy, jiggly mass, that can be smashed to illustrate the need for a protective helmet!

Gelatin Brain Moulds
Borrow - Bullex Digital Fire Simulator
Just set the LED monitor on digital burn and douse the flames with a laser extinguisher. It’s a safe and clean indoor fire safety experience with realistic sound effects.

Bullex Digital Fire Simulator
Buy - Glo Germ with UV Flashlight
This powder is invisible to the human eye until it’s exposed to ultraviolet light. Sprinkle a little on a child’s hand, then wash that hand and see the residue “glow” under the UV flashlight. It’s easy to see how there are still ‘germs’ to be spread with the next handshake or hug!

Glo Germ with UV Flashlight
Buy - Mass Force Demonstration
Use this ingenious display of curved wood and marbles to demonstrate what happens when a large mass, such as a big bull, and a small mass, such as a child, collide.

Mass Force Demonstration
Buy - CASA/ACSA First Aid Kit
This first aid kit is designed to help look after minor injuries on the farm. The 14-piece kit includes all the essentials and comes in a bright red case that makes it easy to find in an emergency.

CASA First Aid Kit

Low-stress cattle handling catching on

A 2009-10 CASHP project
The yell, jump and flap technique of herding cattle just doesn’t cut it anymore.  Well – it never really did. Think about it.  As handlers get more and more stressed trying to move their animals, the animals get more and more stubborn – and stressed as well.  And that’s when somebody gets hurt.
Data from Canadian Agricultural Injury Reporting (CAIR) shows that almost 20 percent of all farm injuries serious enough to need hospitalization are livestock related.
Think of the anguish, the pain, the family concern, the unexpected medical expenses, lost work days and labour replacement costs. How did it happen?  It was not an accident.  It more than likely could have been prevented – by an alert, careful handler using low-stress management techniques.
These techniques aren’t new. Savvy cattle producers have been using them for years.  But back in the early 1980’s, the science behind them solidified under the direction of Dr Temple Grandin.  Working out of Colorado State University, Dr Grandin developed low stress cattle handling theories and techniques based on her understanding of animal reactions and behaviour.  Her ideas led to major changes in animal handling around the world.
Many trainers now offer courses in Canada in low-stress cattle management.  In 2009, the Agricultural Health and Safety Network at the University of Saskatchewan, received a $21,000 grant from CASA’s CASHP funds to teach even more cattle producers to train their families, employees and colleagues in low-stress handling techniques.
Five Low-Stress Cattle Handling Train-the-Trainer Workshops for farmers, as well as feed lot and auction workers, were held throughout Saskatchewan during the winter of 2009/2010.  They were facilitated by Bonita Mechor of the Canadian Centre for Health and Safety in Agriculture in Saskatoon. Safety consultant and BC rancher Reg Steward lead the workshops that featured a “hands-on” cattle demonstration to prepare participants to confidently share their new practical skills.
Mechor says most of the 150 people - including 4-H members - who took the course were “eager to try the low-stress techniques out at home”.   She says many of them were already using some of the techniques but found the training reinforced what they really knew all along. 
Everyone who participated in the training received the up-dated DVD and resource booklet.  Also available to them is the training package to assist them when they are training their family and workers.  The DVD and handbook are available for less than $10.00.  Call (306) 966-6644 or email
There’s also a PowerPoint presentation outlining the course available in English & French at   Check it out.  No stress. 

Mic Safety Mouse is really excited about her move

Mic Safety Mouse is really excited about her move to Grande Prairie and her new home with Carla Shkwarok at Grande Prairie & Area Safe Communities.
Mic Safety and City Mouse will be in the big Red Barn to welcome children from surrounding school jurisdictions, and demonstrate how to play safely on the farm.
Thanks to the support of CASA and Alberta Agriculture, the Kids’ Farm Safety Program will now be used daily, year-round, as children are bused to the centre for this hands-on safety learning experience. 

Updated media guidelines now online

Tired of opening your local paper to a photo of cute kids “driving” old tractors?  Here’s the perfect thing to send to the editor.

From the Childhood Agricultural Safety Network with members from across North America comes the updated Media Guideline for telling stories that encourage safe farm practices.  Check it out at .

Here’s a slice of the advice:  Do use the word “incident” rather than “accident”.  Do explain safety violations and prevention measures.  Do not show people riding on wagons or as extra riders on tractors.  Do not show children close to large animals unless appropriate barriers are evident.  Do not suggest that unsafe practices are acceptable just because they are family “tradition”. 

We asked – you were really helpful!

Thanks to all those who answered our Liaison readership survey in June. 

Most of you liked the format and the content.  You asked for more photos and more ag safety stories beyond CASA.   We heard you and we’ll be acting on these suggestions and others in the issues to come.  We entered the names of all respondents in a draw for a CASA farm first aid kit – and sent the prize to Bruce Stone of the Virginia Farm Bureau in Goochland County, Virginia!
PLAN. FARM. SAFETY. - working the plan
PLAN.FARM.SAFETY. - a call to action!
Dean Anderson, CASA Chair
Apply online to FCC Ag Safety Fund
A Safe farm is a Successful farm - Marcel Hacault, CASA Executive Director
Glen Blahey joins the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association as Health and Safety Specialist
Most farmers work safe every day
New teaching tools at Manitoba Farmers with Disabilties
Safety teaching tools to borrow or buy
Low-stress cattle handling catching on
Mic Safety Mouse is really excited about her move
Updated media guidelines now online
We asked – you were really helpful!
CASA Conference 2010

November 15 to 17, 2010
Winnipeg, Manitoba

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