Andrew de Souza
Safety rules for Saskatchewan farmers have been updated to address dangers that have recently caused injuries or deaths in the industry.
On Sept. 30, Occupational Health and Safety for Saskatchewan released an new version of its Farmer Safety Guide, which included specific information about grain bins and towing regulations.
Jennifer Fabian, director of safety services, said that since the safety guide was last updated in 2002, there had been numerous incidents, especially ones involving grain bins.
“We’ve had a significant number of incidents in the last few years involving farmers who have either died or endangered themselves entering grain bins,” said Fabian. “By adhering to (the new) standards, you prevent injuries that result from non-compliance.”
The new regulations function like every other health and safety law that applies to employers throughout the province, said Fabian.
She said the new rules simply address farming specific problems. For instance, she said confined spaces regulations exist on the books, but making it directly applicable to grain bins would increase safety.
“The Occupational Health and Safety act applies to farmers as employers and farmers as self-employed persons to the same extent as any other employer,” said Fabian. “We’ve just taken the opportunity to add more hazards that have come to our attention in recent years.”
Updates to the guide can be found at the Government of Saskatchewan’s website.
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