“Talk Ask Listen” Webinar Highlights ” Module 3

A series of 4 module webinars was presented by the Do More Ag Foundation in support of Mental Illness Awareness week from October 5th to October 8th.  Here are some highlights from module 3.  It was made clear that throughout each session that the information laid out in the four modules do not make us mental health professionals and we should always be ready with support resources to provide to someone who may want or need help.  This is information to help you on your Mental Health literacy journey.

Module 3: Supporting within Your Means

This webinar started off with some interesting statistics from the study by Dr. Andrea Jones-Bitton at the University of Guelph, noted in Farmer Burnout in Canada, that 35% of farmers met the criteria for depression classification, 45% were classified as having high stress, and 58% met the criteria for anxiety classification.

As of May 2020, Farm Management Canada reported that more than 3 out 4 farmers are experiencing medium to high stress.  Their report on Healthy Minds, Healthy Farms offers recommendations to improve farmers mental health and business practices.

Reviewing those statistics allows us to reflect to how full our cup or battery actually is.  Dr Bill Howatt from Howatt HR expressed in the Maintaining Mental Fitness during COVID19 webinars that “we are like batteries, and like batteries we can be anywhere from charged to empty on a daily basis.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Personal and situational stressors can drain your battery such as stress, burnout, anxiety, and depression.  You need to intentionally recharge your battery by prioritizing sleep, being active, eating fruits and vegetables and finding a connection rather than self-medicating.  We need to find creative ways to stay connected and charge our battery or fill our cup.

In order to charge our battery or maintain a charge, we support others within our means.  To do that we need to consider the following:

  1. How close we are to the person who is disclosing.
  2. Understanding our availability in a crisis.
  3. Redirecting appropriate resources.

To support within our means, we also need to evaluate self-care.  Ensure there is an outlet or a recharge method, when supporting someone else.  Everyone has their limit and staying within those boundaries is key to maintaining our own mental fitness.  As the old saying goes, “Good fences make good neighbours.”

Setting boundaries or limitations of being able to help others can be difficult to do especially if it is hard for us to say no as we don’t want to disappoint or let anyone down.  You are not responsible for the reaction others may have to the boundary but communicating the boundary clearly.

Think about where to set your boundaries when supporting others.  Do you need to consider personal space? What emotions or thoughts may be off limits for discussion or if you are not prepared to respond to?  How much time and energy do you have to give?  Are there topics such as culture, religion and ethics that you need to set boundaries?

Healthy boundaries are clearly outlined and they may be different from person to person.  We have more control over the situation when we have healthy boundaries as it forms respect and we take responsibility for ourselves.  Loose boundaries result when we just can’t say no and may lead to breaking points.  Unwavering or rigid boundaries may be unhealthy and you may want to revisit these boundaries.

Understanding balance of life by evaluating how well your wagon wheel rolls.  Each spoke is an aspect of your life.  For each aspect of your life rate it from one to 10.  How satisfied are you with each aspect of life?  Then connect the dots, how well does your wheel roll?  You want your wheel to be able to roll and function.  May need to look at changing some priorities to have the wheel more balanced in life.

Farm Family Support Center

The Farm Family Support Center is a member assistance program by Morneau Shepell.  Farmers and their families have access to up to 3 hours of service at no cost.  The service is supported by Farm Safety Nova Scotia and is confidential.  Your information is not shared with the NSFA or FSNS.

Solutions for a wide range of life’s challenges.  Call 1.844.880.9142 for confidential and immediate support 24/7/365.

Achieve well-being

  • Stress
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Anger
  • Crisis situations
  • Life transitions

Manage relationships and family

  • Separation and divorce
  • Elder care
  • Relationship conflict
  • Parenting
  • Blended Family issues

Tackle addictions

  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco
  • Drugs
  • Gambling
  • Other addictions
  • Post-recovery support

Get legal advice

  • Separation and divorce
  • Civil litigation
  • Custody and child support
  • Wills and estate planning


“Talk Ask Listen” Webinar Highlights ” Module 2

A series of 4 module webinars was presented by the Do More Ag Foundation in support of Mental Illness Awareness week from October 5th to October 8th.  Here are some highlights from module 2. It was made clear that throughout each session that the information laid out in the four modules do not make us mental health professionals and we should always be ready with support resources to provide to someone who may want or need help.  This is information to help you on your Mental Health literacy journey.

Module 2: Recognizing & Providing Support

It was important to evaluate the “Rule Out Rule” meaning to explore that the possibility that the changes in behaviour may be unrelated to a mental health issue before taking action,  To help do this, you can engage with the person and say you have noticed changes and try to engage them in a conversation to determine if there is an issue.  During the engagement, be sure to stick to the facts, prepare yourself in allowing enough time for a conversation whether long or short, be prepared for a reaction, (the person may not be prepared to talk and dismiss you), listen with intent to understand and have resources on hand to share with the person.

The support through stages of personal change were shared below:

It was reinforced when listening with intent is to also listen with empathy rather than sympathy which was demonstrated well through this video from Dr. Brene Brown, called “The Power of Empathy.

Follow up and checking in is key in showing support to those who may need it at this point in time in their life.

Farm Family Support Center

The Farm Family Support Center is a member assistance program by Morneau Shepell.  Farmers and their families have access to up to 3 hours of service at no cost.  The service is supported by Farm Safety Nova Scotia and is confidential.  Your information is not shared with the NSFA or FSNS.

Solutions for a wide range of life’s challenges.  Call 1.844.880.9142 for confidential and immediate support 24/7/365.

Achieve well-being

  • Stress
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Anger
  • Crisis situations
  • Life transitions

Manage relationships and family

  • Separation and divorce
  • Elder care
  • Relationship conflict
  • Parenting
  • Blended Family issues

Tackle addictions

  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco
  • Drugs
  • Gambling
  • Other addictions
  • Post-recovery support

Get legal advice

  • Separation and divorce
  • Civil litigation
  • Custody and child support
  • Wills and estate planning

 

 

 



“Talk Ask Listen” Webinar Highlights ” Module 1

A series of 4 module webinars was presented by the Do More Ag Foundation in support of Mental Illness Awareness week from October 5th to October 8th.  Here are some highlights from each of the modules. It was made clear that throughout each session that the information laid out in the four modules do not make us mental health professionals and we should always be ready with support resources to provide to someone who may want or need help.  This is information to help you on your Mental Health literacy journey.

Module 1: Understanding Mental Illness

This module took a brief look at understanding mental illness to include mood, anxiety, psychotic, and substance-related disorders.  An excellent infographic was presented to help understand mental illness on a scale of healthy, reacting, injured, and ill.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stress is not a mental illness but chronic stress can lead to anxiety disorders.  Burnout was noted to be persons who are disengaged, whose emotions are blunted, are feeling helpless, lacking motivation, ideals and hope which, all can lead to depression.  A study by Dr. Andrea Jones-Bitton at the University of Guelph, noted in Farmer Burnout in Canada, that 12% of Canadian farmers were in the burnout profile.

Mood disorders can include depression, bipolar and suicide disorders.

Mood Disorder Signs & Symptoms may include:

  • Changes in appetite or weight
  • Sleep problems
  • Increased fatigue
  • Increased Agitation
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Difficulty concentrating and making decisions
  • Recurrent thoughts of suicide

Bipolar Signs & Symptoms may include:

  • Extreme Mood swings between depression and mania
  • Depression
  • Mania (Elevated mood, grandiose ideas, rapid speech, lack of insight, increased energy)

Suicide Ideation Signs and Symptoms may include:

  • Expressing negative self-comments
  • Expressing intent to die by suicide
  • Telling final wishes to someone
  • Giving away prized possessions
  • Loss of interest in friends, hobbies, etc.
  • Repeated expressions of hopelessness, helplessness or depression

To assess suicide risk, use the acronym A.G.E.S.

A – Access the risk of suicide or harm;

G – Give reassurance and information;

E – Encourage the person to get professional help; and

S – Supports.

Anxiety disorders may include general anxiety, panic attack, obsessive compulsive and PTSD disorders.

Those who experience anxiety may experience physical and psychological signs and symptoms; more is involved than just mental reactions but can affect the entire health system.

Experiencing a panic attack may include suffering from more than 4 physical signs and symptoms for more than 10 minutes and may feel intense fear that may be inappropriate to the situation at hand.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) signs and symptoms may include reexperiencing the trauma, feeling uneasy, avoidance behaviour, reduced interest in the outside world, persistent increased arousal, jumpy, irritable, outbursts, and insomnia.

Substance related disorder signs and symptoms may include decrease in work habits, sudden mood swings, sudden change in personal habits, sudden change in minor mistakes or accidents, and sudden weight loss.  Risk factors that may lead to substance related disorders on the farm include high stress, boredom or repetitive tasks, being isolated or in a remote area, long work hours, shift work and lack of advancement.  Those with substance related disorders may use hallucinogens, depressants and stimulants.  It is interesting to note that alcohol is a depressant and caffeine and nicotine are stimulants.

It is noted that psychological health is a state of well-being in which an individual realizes their own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and is able to make a contribution to their community.

As noted in the Farm Safety Cultivating Your Way to Burnout Webinar in July, fatigue can have a significant effect on one’s mental health and it was also noted in this webinar the impacts of sleep hygiene.

Final word: “No health without mental health.”

Farm Family Support Center 

The Farm Family Support Center is a member assistance program by Morneau Shepell.  Farmers and their families have access to up to 3 hours of service at no cost.  The service is supported by Farm Safety Nova Scotia and is confidential.  Your information is not shared with the NSFA or FSNS.

Solutions for a wide range of life’s challenges.  Call 1.844.880.9142 for confidential and immediate support 24/7/365.

Achieve well-being

  • Stress
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Anger
  • Crisis situations
  • Life transitions

Manage relationships and family

  • Separation and divorce
  • Elder care
  • Relationship conflict
  • Parenting
  • Blended Family issues

Tackle addictions

  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco
  • Drugs
  • Gambling
  • Other addictions
  • Post-recovery support

Get legal advice

  • Separation and divorce
  • Civil litigation
  • Custody and child support
  • Wills and estate planning

 

 



Breathe Easy on Farm

When working on farm, there can be dust, mist, fumes and other gases that can cause permanent damage to the respiratory system if the worker is not protected from these sometimes-invisible hazards.  Wearing the correct mask or respirator can allow a worker a lifetime of breathing easy and avoiding permanent lung damage.

Workers not wearing the correct PPE for the hazard can be susceptible to respiratory illness such as asthma, farmers lung, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), allergies, rhinitis, and other illnesses that interrupt the proper function of the lungs making it difficult to breathe.  These conditions can be caused by dust, mould, pesticides, chemicals, and gases found on the farm.

Respiratory Illness Prevention:

Conduct a hazard and risk assessment on farm to determine the potential sources of respiratory illness.  Eliminate or substitute chemicals and pesticides for those less toxic, rid of sources of mould and dust and prevent the build up of gases, where possible.  Add warning signs to identify areas of risk and post hazard control requirements for those areas.  Ensure to post PPE requirements where elimination, engineering, and administrative controls are inadequate in controlling the hazard.

Potential Sources of Respiratory Illness:

Dusts and Mould:

  • Areas that cannot be ventilated should be enclosed.
  • Increase ventilation rates and ensure ventilation systems meet the requirements to give enough air exchange to prevent air borne contaminants resting in the air and being inhaled by workers.
  • Self-propelled equipment should have enclosed cabs with air filters. Clean filters regularly.
  • Work at slower speeds when operating equipment to reduce the dust, and other air borne contaminants.
  • Use feed products that reduce the amount of dust & fungi generated while feeding.
  • Clean tools, equipment and machines with water or liquid to prevent the aerosolization of dry material.
  • When working outdoors, maintain a position upwind from airborne contaminants.
  • Remove indoor dust as often as possible using a system with water or similar to keep dust from aerosolizing while cleaning.
  • Storage and processing areas for grain and feed are enclosed and sealed.
  • Store harvested crops dry with 14% moisture content.
  • Do other chores before feeding animals to limit the time in airborne contaminants such as after distributing silage or chopped feed.

Gases

Nitrogen Oxide in Silos: Add signs outside of silos to warn of the danger, do not enter a silo for 2-3 weeks after filling it and run the blowers for 30 minutes or more before entering.

Carbon monoxide: Ventilate buildings where engines are running, and ensure all equipment is maintained.

Manure Pit Gases

Methane (CH4): An odorless gas that is lighter than air. Like CO2, it acts as an asphyxiant, but is explosive.

Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S): A by-product of manure decomposition, that is heavier than air and smells like rotten eggs.  Ensure a gas trap is between the buildings and outside storage and direct airflow towards the floor to prevent workers from inhaling dust and gases.  Inhalation can cause death.

Carbon Dioxide (CO2): A by-product of manure decomposition and fermentation and is heavier than air but is difficult to detect.  It causes shortness of breath and dizziness and, at high concentrations, cause death.

Ammonia: Do not enter manure pits during agitation. Exhaust air through manure channels, and use tight fitting hatches, water traps or evacuation fans.

Chemicals, Fertilizers, & Pesticides

  • Read labels and safety data sheets that come with the product.
  • Contact the manufacturer for additional information about products.
  • Inspect and maintain sprayers to prevent seeping or leaking of chemicals.

Always use PPE that is recommended by the safety data sheet or label.  Masks or respirators may be required.  There are two types of air-purifying respirators (CSA-Z94.4-18), which can be used in environments with a high concentration of dust, pesticides or chemicals, and may not be suitable for oxygen deficient atmospheres.  Use air-supplied respirators in oxygen deficient work areas (CSA Standard Z180.1-00: Compressed Breathing Air and Systems).

Check with your supplier for the right mask for the hazard and ensure fit testing (CSA Standard Z94.4-02, Selection, Care and Use of Respirators) is performed initially and at least every two years thereafter.  Ensure the mask meets the CSA standard required by OHS legislation. Follow the care, use, cleaning and storage instructions to keep masks in a condition to perform the function for which it was intended.

Final Note

Inhalation of airborne contaminants may cause breathing issues and lung problems in both the long and short term. The more often a worker is exposed to these contaminants, the greater the risk of them developing a long-term illness. Respirators are very effective at removing the risk of exposure, but you must have the right kind and use it the way it was intended by the manufacturer.

Visit the Farm Safety Nova Scotia website to download a template for a respiratory code of practice, respiratory instruction sheet and a respiratory inspection checklist.

 



First Aid Requirements on the Farm

First aid is a means of providing care to an injured or ill person until help arrives.  First aid training gives a person the skills and confidence to be able to help the ill or injured person as well as learn what could happen and apply prevention measures before it does.

You never know when you may need to respond to an ill or injured person while at home, in the park, on the highway, at the market, or even on farm.  Farming is one of the most hazardous occupations as workers are exposed to confined space, gas, handle animals, exposed to zoonotic disease, high stress, extreme weather conditions, and machine and equipment hazards such as run over or entanglement.

Did you know that Nova Scotia Occupational Health and Safety has its own set of First Aid Regulations that outlines the first aid requirements at the workplace to help you prepare for a potential emergency requiring first aid?  The First Aid Regulations outline the employer’s responsibilities in providing and maintaining first aid supplies, services and trained first aiders.   This includes a means of safe and timely transport to emergency care.  The driver should not to be the caregiver during transport, another person should assist.

Training Requirements:

  1. The farm is to pay for the first aid course and the workers time while in the course at the same rate as if they were conducting their normal work duties.
  2. Persons working independently who have no one available to give first aid must be trained in emergency first aid.
  3. 1-19 workers employed regularly on the farm, requires at least one emergency first aid certificate.
  4. 20-99 workers employed regularly on the farm, requires at least one Standard First Aid Certificate.
  5. 100 or more workers employed regularly on farm, requires at least one Advanced First Aid Certificate.

First Aid Records:

When a first aider opens a first aid kit and uses the contents of the first aid kit to treat an ill or injured person at the worksite, a first aid record must be completed and the written record kept for 5 years after the date of injury.  The first aid record is not a public document and the privacy of the injured person must be protected.  First aid records may be included in your first aid kit, if not click here for a template.

The first aid record must include:

  1. name of the injured person
  2. date and time of injury
  3. location and nature of the injury to the person
  4. time first aid administered
  5. first aid treatment provided
  6. name of first aider or person providing treatment and
  7. name of person the injury was reported

Location of First Aid Supplies and First Aiders:

  • First aid kits should be readily available during all working hours and easily accessible.
  • Post the names of the available first aiders and their phone number in obvious highly visible locations on farm property and in equipment and/or vehicle cabs.
  • Keep supplies clean and dry.
  • Include first aid kits with your monthly work site inspections. Check to ensure all contents are present and they are not expired.
    • Check the contents of first aid kits with sections 14, 15 & 16 of the first aid regulations.
    • Recommend printing a copy of the contents and adding to the back of the kit for easy reference or including as part of your inspection checklist.

First aider Responsibilities:

  • Have access to and control over the correct first aid kit and first aid room, if applicable.
  • Be available to treat an ill or injured person without delay.
  • Wear and use personal protective equipment when providing care as to prevent exposure to infectious disease.

Remote Location Plan:

A remote location is a place where it would take more than 30 minutes of surface or road travel time in one direction to reach an emergency care facility that is open during working hours.

If you have a remote location, prepare a written first aid remote location plan.

Include the following in your plan:

  1. Correct number of trained first aiders at the required level.
    1. 20 workers or less at the location, one person hold standard first aid certificate OR at least 30% of the workers hold emergency first Aid certificate.
    2. See requirements listed above.
  2. Correct number and size of first aid kits.
  3. List of first aiders with their contact information.
  4. Transportation method for the ill or injured person.
  5. Communication with and from remote locations.
  6. Reflect the scope of work performed at the remote location.
  7. Consult with the Health and Safety Committee or Representative in the development of the plan.

Exceptions to having a remote first aid plan are: no worker spends more than 10% of their time there over a 4-week period; spend more than 10% but less than 25% of their time, over a 4-week period if the safety of the location is adequately assured.

CSA Standard Available:

Did you know there is a CSA standard for first aid training and first aid kits? The CSA Standard for First Aid Training is CSA Z1210 and the CSA Standard for First Aid Kits is CSA Z1220.

If you are interested in checking out the CSA Standard for First Aid Training and First Aid Kits, you will need to access your CSA Communities account.  If you do not have an account check out this post to learn how to create an account and access standards or join the farm safety advisor on October 15th from 11:30am- 12:30pm to walk you through creating a CSA Communities account and navigating the platform.  To  register for the webinar, click here.

 

 



Announcement: Mental Health in Agriculture

Supporting the mental health and wellness of our members continues to be a focus area for Farm Safety Nova Scotia and the NSFA – and has become a more significant priority as we all work through the obstacles created by COVID-19.

We applied for, and are grateful to have received, funding through the Canadian Agriculture Partnership’s (CAP) COVID-19 Agriculture Response Program. The funding will support the development of a Mental Health Action Plan for Nova Scotia Farmers, which will include specific resources tailored to address the unique challenges and stressors presented in our region. Initial work has begun on the development of the Action Plan, and more information will be shared with our community in the coming months.

We also understand that immediate supports need to be put in place for our farmers, their employees and their families. This is why we have organized and scheduled a number of webinar and workshop options to be offered through Farm Safety Nova Scotia at no cost in the coming months and into the new year.

More information on these programs can be found on our events page. Search the date and click on the program title to access the full description.

We also want to remind everyone of the Maintaining Mental Fitness during COVID-19 section that has been added to the Farm Safe Nova Scotia website. This page was created to make sure that farmers had resources available to support both themselves and their families throughout the global pandemic. One of the resources available is the “Eight Domains of Well-Being” by Dr. Andrea Jones-Bitton.

If you, or anyone on your farm is experiencing a mental health emergency, please contact 911 to get help right away. Our Farm Family Support Centre is also available 24/7, managed through our Member Assistance Program by Morneau Shepell (MAP), where farmers and their families are able to access up to three hours of service at no cost.



Pallet Jack Safety

Many farms have a pallet jack.  Basically, where you may find a pallet, you are likely to find a pallet jack! They make lifting and carrying large and heavy loads a lot easier. Although helpful, if not used correctly can be dangerous, especially when loaded down with hundreds of pounds of material such as feed, fruits, vegetables, fertilizer, and more.

Hazards of a Pallet Jack:

Injuries that most commonly occur from the use of pallet jacks include crushed or pinched toes, scraped knuckles, and back strain.  When a pallet jack is stored with its’ forks in aisles, walkways and in open spaces it can become a tripping hazard.  Some other common hazards of pallet jacks include uneven or slippery floors, loss of control on ramps, not being able to see around loads, and poor maintenance.

Best Practice when using a Pallet Jack:



POWER TAKE OFF (PTO) GENERATORS

If you own a tractor, then a power take-off (PTO) generator, sometimes known as a tractor generator, can solve your electricity challenges.  A PTO generator connects directly to the driveshaft of the tractor engine to generate electricity.   This allows for an energy source to be available in the most remote work areas on the farm where normally an affordable power source would not be available.

The benefits of a PTO generator include:

  1. Portable or Moveable: Depending on the make and model of PTO generator on the farm, you can move the PTO Generator to various location on the farm or in the field where you can then use power tools, operate small equipment or machines. Check with the manufacturers manual to understand the capacity and limitations of the PTO generator on your farm.
  2. Home or Farm Backup Power Supply: When a storm is lurking, one way to be prepared for a power outage is to have the PTO Generator on hand. Will need to check your fuel supply as well to ensure you have enough tractor fuel to operate the tractor and subsequently run the generator.
  3. Low Maintenance: Depending on the make and model of the PTO Generator it can have fewer internal pieces or parts which require less maintenance then your gas engine counterparts. Models with maintenance-free bearings and that are brushless are ideal candidates for low maintenance.
  4. Less expensive: PTO generators generally cost less than an equivalent standby or portable generator with the same power output.

Selecting the Correct PTO Generator for Your tractor:

  1. Choose the correct engine size for your tractor by matching the horsepower of your tractor engine to that of the PTO Generator.
  2. Choose the Engine Speed (RPM) by checking the operating speed of the tractor PTO shaft.  Newer tractors have flexibility with the engine speeds but older tractors do not, so check the engine speed of your tractor before making the choice.
  3. Choose the electrical phase of single or three-phase. Single phase is the power coming from the outlets in your house and most out buildings.  Three-Phase is for much higher-powered machines or equipment such as that for 208 or 480 volts

Dangers of PTO Generators:

  1. Electric Shock
  2. Fire
  3. Carbon Monoxide
  4. Noise
  5. Poor Housekeeping
  6. Entanglement

Best Practice when using and maintaining a PTO Generator:

  • Read the owner’s manual before operation or maintenance.
  • Only a qualified person to operate the generator following manufacturers instructions.
  • Avoid contact with live terminals or receptacles.
  • Avoid operating under wet conditions.
  • Use only three-prong grounded plugs or extension cords.
  • Ensure the unit is grounded.
  • Turn off before plugging or unplugging cords.
  • Operate in well ventilated areas.
  • Wear hearing protection if working around the generator for long periods of time.
  • Have a fire extinguisher of the correct class and size readily available.
  • Maintain good housekeeping by removing materials or debris, ice, snow, or anything that could potentially ignite and cause a fire.
  • Only qualified and experienced service technicians should service or maintain the unit.
  • Use only manufacturer approved parts and accessories.
  • Avoid hot mufflers or exhaust and engine parts when working around the generator.
  • Ensure a qualified licensed electrician installs the generator for those that are not portable or moveable.
  • If installing into a current electrical system ensure there is a transfer switch.
  • Check the drive shaft position to ensure level before operating.
  • Ensure guards are in place and maintain before operating.
  • Do not step over the drive shaft when it is operating and maintain a safe distance to avoid entanglement.
  • Do not try to slow or stop a drive shaft with your feet or hands.

 



Chainsaws Hazards & Injury Prevention

Chainsaws can be used on farm for various tasks such as cutting firewood, topping fence posts, woodlot management and felling large trees.  Chainsaws can be a valuable tool on the farm but can also be a very dangerous one too when the operator has not been formally trained, doesn’t understand the hazards associated with its’ use, or is an inexperienced operator.

Three main hazards associated with using a chainsaw are noise, vibration and cuts.

When a farmer is exposed to noise as loud as a chainsaw, hearing loss can occur. Damage to hearing is permanent and can become worse over time with continuous exposure.  You can prevent hearing loss while using this powerful tool by simply putting on hearing protection that is adequate for the decibel level of the chainsaw you use.  Ensure the hearing protection meets the CSA Standard for hearing protection CSA Z94.2 and fits properly.

Over time, chainsaw vibration can cause circulatory problems in your fingers, hands, and arms.  To mitigate the risk of vibration, ensure that the saw is equipped with vibration dampening devices, the saw is sharp, you have a firm but not a tight grip, and you are warm while working.

 

Cuts are the most common injuries suffered by chainsaw users and those working around chainsaws.  Workers can suffer from minor injuries when filing a chain to an amputation from kickback or another worker working too close to the user.

 

Download the Safe Work Practice for Chainsaws from the Farm Safety Nova Scotia Website and adapt and use as your own to help prevent incident and injury on farm.

Here are a few hints & tips for safe chainsaw use:

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Report Close Calls – It Can Save A Life!

A Close Call is an event that could have caused personal harm, harm to other workers or animals on the farm and property damage or loss to barns, sheds, machinery, equipment or other farm property.

Examples of Close Calls:

A worker spotted another worker grinding without wearing safety glasses and a face shield in the machine shed.  The worker reminded him that grinding wheels can disintegrate. About five minutes later, the grinding wheel broke apart sending pieces flying. The worker heeded the advice and donned safety glasses and a face shield and wasn’t hurt.

Jenna, a farm technician, was bit behind in her chores. She was using a circular saw to cut some lumber to repair a pen.  Jenna went to grab a few more pieces of lumber and, picked up the saw to make the next cut, when she received a slight electric shock.   She dropped the tool, suffering no injury. At this point she had an important choice to make, fall a bit further behind in her chores and potentially save a life. If she just forgot the incident, the next worker to pick up the tool may have damp hands or may be standing in a puddle of water. That worker may get a severe shock. She reported the incident, so the saw was tagged out and checked over. Tagging out the saw gives a qualified person the chance to repair or discard the saw and a chance to find out why the saw gave a shock. Was it poorly designed or manufactured? Has the insulation gotten wet or is the cord frayed?   These questions were answered because Jenna made the right choice to report the near miss.

These are two examples of thousands of close calls occurring on farm every day. It’s been estimated that for every serious injury, there may be 600 close calls.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After experiencing a close call, the usual response is to dust yourself off, consider yourself lucky and go on with your work without reporting the incident. Safety has nothing to do with luck.  A close call is a warning that something is wrong.  Report all unsafe work practices to your supervisor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Watch this 1-minute video as a reminder of the importance of reporting close calls.



Events

  1. In The Know: Mental Health Literacy Training

    June 9 @ 9:30 am - 2:30 pm

Contact Us

7 Atlantic Central Drive
East Mountain, N.S.
B6L 2Z2

o: 902-893-2293
f: 902-893-7036
e: info@farmsafetyns.ca

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