Background History of Young Farm Workers Safety Training Workshop
2021 will mark the 15th year of the Young Farm Workers Safety Training Workshop in Central Alberta. The original workshop was designed to meet a gap in safety training for teen-aged farm workers. These young farm workers are actively involved in farming, whether it is on a family farm or are working for commercial operations.
Just knowing that all young workers, whether on the farm or not, are at higher risk for injury, a dedicated group of farm safety advocates developed this annual workshop. Over the 14 years, the workshop has safety trained over 900 young farm workers from Central Alberta. Our evaluations show that because of our workshop training, young farm workers change safety habits on their farms that could prevent injury and death. For example, these include reporting such actions as using helmets on ATV's and horses, re-organizing chemicals into safe storage, and putting first aid kits and emergency contact numbers in farm shops and equipment.
Each year the workshop addresses the high risk, high injury activities of farming. We take a look at the statistics and see if we have trending injuries in agriculture (For example ATV's and falls from heights are two that have trended over the past few years.). We know that injuries are most likely caused by large animals, so we offer safe livestock handling procedures. We also know that equipment is the leading cause of death on a farm, so that is addressed annually. Overriding all these statistics, is the belief that if we can provide young farm workers with knowledge and tools that will help them "Think it Thru", and from there they can establish safe operating procedures on their farms.
In 2020/21, the organizing committee consists of representation from:
Safe Communities Central Alberta
Alberta Health Services - Health Promotion
Alberta Green Certificate Program
FCC - Farm Credit Corporation