Nova Scotia farmers are working hard to reduce the risk of being injured or killed on the job. Farm Safety is My Business is the theme of Canadian Agricultural Safety Week, March 8 to 14. The week highlights various aspects of risk management in the agricultural sector, focusing on young workers between the ages of 15 and 29. “We encourage farm owners and managers to make risk assessment and worker safety a priority in all aspects of their business,” said Ron Chisholm, Minister of Agriculture. “I urge Nova Scotia farmers to use due diligence every day and to analyze the risks in their workplace so they work safely.” Risk management on Canadian farms is changing. In the past, the farmer and his family did most of the work. Today, some farms in Nova Scotia have become larger and use less-experienced workers, creating a need for more formalized safety training. A young worker who was raised on a farm may know more about farm safety than a non-farming youth who is looking for a summer job on a farm. The non-farming youth will need specific safety training to do the job safely. “The province and industry continue to work together on the promotion of farm safety,” said Carolyn Bolivar-Getson, Minister of Environment and Labour. “Organizations like the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture, Dalhousie University – Community Health and Epidemiology, the Nova Scotia 4-H and Rural Organizations, deserve special recognition for their continued commitment to farm safety.” Ms. Bolivar-Getson said leadership and grassroot support by organizations, farm employers and employees will help reduce workplace injury and illness. Frazer Hunter, president of the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture, is pleased with the safety improvements made on farms in this province over the past 10 years. “Even though the majority of our farmers have had to face declining financial returns on their farms, they have made it a priority to focus on turning their farms into safer work sites,” said Mr. Hunter. “They realize that the financial and personal costs of an accident can be tremendous and may have an impact for a lifetime, and not only affect the farmer but also his or her whole family. This is why we in the federation like to celebrate and support farm safety week all year-round.” An average of 115 people are killed and another 1,500 are seriously injured each year in farm related incidents in Canada, while countless minor injuries are never reported. The social costs of agricultural injuries in Canada has been estimated at $200 million to $300 million annually by the Canadian Agricultural Injury Surveillance Program. The Canadian Agricultural Safety Week Program is delivered by the Canadian Federation of Agriculture and the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association in partnership with Farm Credit Canada, Agriculture and AgriFood Canada and promoted by the Nova Scotia Farm Health and Safety Committee. For more information on Canadian Agricultural Safety Week, see the Canadian Federation of Agriculture website at www.cfa-fca.ca . A Farm Safety guide is available by calling 1-800-952-2687.