Over the past couple of months Murray and Dave have been collecting “Near Miss” stories and records. They had the opportunity to have a discussion with over 55 farmers to date! Here are some interesting statistics from those visits:

  • 2 incidents involved children under the age of 10
  • 9 incidents involved the egg packer or escalator including 2 lost finger tips
  • 4 incidents involved falls from heights including a shattered ankle which took 5 months to heal
  • 5 incidents involved manure augers or belts

Common corrective actions identified included:

  • Ensuring augers have covers in place and that the power is off before any maintenance is done
  • Implementing policies prohibiting loose clothing around the egg packer and other moving equipment
  • Improved communication with workers and helpers

Using the same near miss process and form that Murray and Dave used can help you implement a reporting system on your operation to capture these types of stories. This is part of a farm safety plan!

When implementing corrective actions, it is helpful to think not only about addressing the immediate issue, but also the root cause. For example, if a hoodie string gets caught in a belt packer, you might think about removing that hoodie string. What other clothing might pose a risk? What about loose sleeves? Is it necessary to implement a policy on loose clothing or is it possible to put guards in place?

Remember that while near miss reporting is a helpful activity, completing Job Task Hazard Assessments (JTHAs) can also help you identify risks before an incident occurs. Example tasks from the template JTHAs EFA provided all producers include:

  • Operating egg handling equipment
  • Cleaning barn
  • Manure handling

Common hazards for each of the above tasks are listed within that document, along with possible administrative and engineering controls for your consideration. If you haven’t had a near miss, see if you can use the document to predict where something on your farm might become a safety hazard if not addressed.

Looking for more help with Incident Management or Hazard Management? AgSafe Alberta now has Quick Start guides in these and other areas that walk through simple and easy ways to get started. Visit www.agsafeab.ca for more information. AgSafe Alberta is a collaboration of crop and livestock sector producer groups that have come together to develop and deliver farm safety management tools, resources and programs for farmers in the province of Alberta.