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Canadian farmers want more safety training, says 2011 FCC Safety Report Card

November 24, 2011, Winnipeg – Most of Canada’s farmers see safety as a priority on their farms – and nine out of 10 of farmers want to know more about how to make their businesses even safer.

According to the second Farm Credit Canada (FCC) Farm Safety Report Card, discussed at the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association’s (CASA) annual conference in Vancouver this past week, 34% of Canadian producers want training in the basics of preparing a safety plan for their operations.

“Canadian farmers certainly have good intentions for keeping safe on the farm, according to our research,” says Rémi Lemoine, FCC Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer, “Now what’s needed is concrete action using tools like the ones created by our partners at CASA.”

Nearly 1,000 primary producers across Canada from various sectors who are members of the national research FCC Vision Panel participated in the study.

“CASA is developing practical tools such as the Canada FarmSafe plan to help farmers improve their safety record,” says Marcel Hacault, executive director of CASA,“ We’ve put the basic plan on our website at www.planfarmsafety.ca and we’re working with agricultural suppliers and provincial farm safety groups to put the plan in as many hands as possible. That’s mainly where farmers told FCC they look for safety information. ”

The 2011 FCC farm safety snapshot showed there’s been little change in the perceptions and practices around farm safety since 2008.

What’s going well?

Producers are driven to action once safety directly impacts their family: (91%) of producers regularly take precautions for children, and a third (35%) are interested in taking training on agricultural safety for children. When it comes to the individual, almost nine in ten (88%) of producers report they would be interested in pursuing training in at least one safety topic.

Where can we improve?

Although the majority of Canadian producers (85%) believe safety is a priority on their farm, less than one in ten (9%) currently have a written agricultural safety plan on their farm or ranch. When it comes to accessing information, less than a quarter (24%) of producers report having tried to access resources related to agricultural safety in the past year. Fifty-two per cent say they would go to agricultural suppliers to get more safety information and tools.

Why is safety important?

Producers explain that safety is a priority on their farms for three key reasons: the potential for financial loss due to accidents (largely through lost productivity), safekeeping of their family members, and the need to keep employees safe.

“We will use the suggestions and testimonials in this new survey to help build new national farm safety messaging and create targeted educational tools,” Hacault adds. “Our goal continues to be a Canada where no one is hurt farming.”

To access the executive summary of the report, please visit http://www.fccvision.ca/Research.

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The Canadian Agricultural Safety Association (CASA) is a national, non-profit organization that provides leadership and direction for agricultural health and safety to help farmers, their families and workers recognize and manage safety risks. CASA is primarily funded under Growing Forward, a federal provincial territorial agreement, with support from Canadian agri-business.

As Canada’s leading agriculture lender, FCC is advancing the business of agriculture. With a healthy portfolio of more than $21 billion and 18 consecutive years of portfolio growth, FCC is strong and stable – and committed to serving the industry through all cycles. FCC provides financing, insurance, software, learning programs and other business services to producers, agribusinesses and agri-food operations. FCC employees are passionate about agriculture and committed to the success of customer and the industry. For more information, visit www.fcc.ca.

Media contacts:

Diane Wreford
Director of Communications and Development

Tara Seel
Communications Office

Aliya Ladha
Communication Consultant
Farm Credit Canada

Éva Larouche (bilingual)
Communication Consultant
Farm Credit Canada