Commodity Specific Farm Safety Plan

Farm Safety Nova Scotia offers commodity organizations the opportunity to work with the Farm Safety Advisor at no cost to build a farm safety plan specific for the commodity.  To date, the Fruit Growers Association have built a Farm Safety Plan designed to their specific operations and the Christmas Tree Growers are in the process of developing a Farm Safety Plan of their own.

The commodity specific plans are built on the evaluation of the farm through on-farm visits and surveys to identify the scopes of work performed.  Identifying the scopes of work with a list of tools, equipment, and machinery allows the Farm Safety Advisor to develop policies, practices, procedures and program templates needed for that particular commodity.

Farm Safety Nova Scotia provides a generic Farm Safety Plan and Workbook documents for all farms to get a start on their farm safety plan.  A commodity specific plan allows the commodity to have input on what they would like to have in their plan, based on the specific scopes of work performed.  The commodity specific plan also comes with a Farm Safety Plan index that lists each of the documents available in the plan, what they are used for and when to use them.  The Index comes with a suggested schedule in table format on when to review and complete the program templates.  It also includes customization hints and tips to help you easily adopt the plan for your farm such as instructions on how to add your farm name and logo.

An example of commodity specific safe work practices added to the fruit growers’ plan include:

  • hedge trimmers
  • mobile work platforms
  • orchard ladders
  • pruners
  • ponds & wells

Safe work practices added to the Christmas Tree Growers plan include:

  • axes, bush axes, & machetes
  • chainsaw
  • Christmas tree baler
  • clearing saw
  • skidder
  • wood chipper

Other adaptations and additions made were updates to the New Worker Orientation and training matrix as well as adding a performance appraisal, heat stress policy, and emergency response plans specific to the commodity operations.

Hazard Identification, Risk Assessment, and Hazard Control can be one of the largest undertakings when building a Farm Safety Plan.  As part of a commodity specific plan, the Farm Safety Advisor takes the information gathered and drafts a hazard assessment.  The hazards are identified, a risk evaluation is completed and suggested controls are added to a table for easy evaluation and review. Having a template like this, makes light work for the farm to make changes to the identified hazards list and update or make changes to the hazards controls in order for it to apply to each specific farm for that commodity.  Review the Fruit Growers Hazard Assessment here

Save yourself hours of work, by participating in building a commodity specific Farm Safety Plan.  To participate, contact the Farm Safety Advisor: e-mail – or phone – 902-957-2785.