Farm Safety Week is set to kick off on March 14th.

The Canada Safety Council is reminding all farmers that deaths and injuries are preventable through awareness and being prepared.

Lewis Smith, the Manager of National Projects of the Council says even though farming deaths and injuries are down across the industry, “There is still work to be done. Any fatality is a fatality too many. And if we can help get the message out that there are ways to avoid getting caught in high-risk incidents it certainly is something worth sharing.”

Smith says the majority of injuries are avoidable and deaths and injuries are machine related, “Typically rollovers, run-overs or being pinned or struck by a machine.   So the number one safety tip we would give to anyone in the agriculture business is to make sure you are operating the machine correctly. Sometimes that involves reading the manufacturer’s manual, sometimes it involves safety training with regards to ATV’s for instance, and often times it comes down to common sense. A lot of times rollovers happen when you are driving up a hill and aren’t driving with the hill and instead of driving across the hill.  The machine isn’t intended to do that.  The centre of gravity is too high and that’s when rollovers tend to happen.”

Smith says safety can’t be convenient, “It’s becoming a more common message among farmers that safety has to become a mentality, it needs to something that is being refreshed and checked in the person’s mind and constantly being checked around the farm.”

The bulk of farm deaths and injuries happen between July and September.  The leading cause is rollovers.  Run-overs and being hit or pinned by a machine contributes to 44-percent of injuries or fatalities.  Between 2003 and 2012, men over the age of 15 accounted for 83-percent of all fatalities.

Perth County has 2,438 farms, farming a total area of 201,599 hectares of land.

Farm Safety Week runs from March 14th to 20th.