Farmers in Wellington County had the chance to learn about some essential safety tips, and enjoy some free pizza to boot, at the Wellington County Farm Safety annual general neeting on January 27.
Walter Grose said the focus was on sharing new farm safety advice, which changes over the years as technology advances.
“Number one we’re going to be talking about is four wheelers, insurance on four wheelers,” Grose said. “The important thing about that is that they need to make sure they carry an insurance policy on their four wheelers from their automotive policy. Most farmers believe they can own a four wheeler and not insure it and it’s part of their farm business.”
But that’s not the case. Four wheelers need to be insured, otherwise you’re not covered if there’s an accident on the road or even on your own property.
Another issue looked at was wood cutting.
“If they’re doing wood cutting for commercial purposes they need to carry different insurance or workman compensation, than if they’re just cutting wood for themselves,” Grose said.
They’re also looking for new members to become directors and a vice-president. They would be for two year terms. They’ll be welcoming newly elected councillors to the group.
“We’re looking for people from some of the commodity groups,” Grose said. “So we’d like to see if there’s anybody out there from the pork industry and we’re looking for someone for the membership from that because those people need safety just as much as anyone else. We should probably look for someone from soil and crop.”
A director’s role is to come to about eight meetings per year he said. The goal is to ensure the farm safety message is getting out. They visit with people also to gather information and bring that back to the meetings. From this they decide if need to talk about safety with migrant workers or tractors on the road, for example. They’ve been giving out free slow moving vehicle signs to anyone who brings in an old one as part of a two-year initiative.
Grose explained they visited 1,670 people last year to teach them about farm safety. Those visits were possible through less than 300 volunteer hours. He said they try to do farm safety days and they’ll have exhibits set up during their upcoming pancake breakfast. The breakfast will be February 28 at the Alma Community Hall from 9 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. and it’s free of charge for everyone.
“The children can come and look at the exhibits and talk about farm safety,” Grose said. “We’re also doing a farm safety tractor course for women in April. Our annual meeting is to get people excited, and get people involved and try to bring new people out to our group.”
These meetings and safety initiatives are all about trying to save lives he said. They’re taking the message to children while they’re young, so they learn early about how to be safe on the farm.
“The reason is too many children and too many adults are dying because of an accident on the farm that is preventable,” Grose said. “We have this saying that all accidents are preventable. If we can just save one life I think meeting all year long is worth it. Wellington County has been especially hard hit with people who’ve passed away, maybe being driven over by a tractor or caught in a combine or hurt in an accident and been injured for the rest of their life.”