Around eighty grade nine students in the area will learn a little more about how to stay safe on the farm this week. Grande Prairie and Area Safe Communities has launched its new program called the Young Farm Workers Program.
Acting Executive Director Cindy Blinston says they have been developing this program for the past year and a half and adds that it’s tailored towards teens who have started working or will be starting work.
“We’re targeting grade nines and we’re talking about workplace safety, so teaching about rights and responsibilities but also just general hazard identification and knowledge around what to do if you encounter a hazard.”
On September 17th, students from Beaverlodge, Ridgevalley and Hythe spent the day learning about things like proper lifting and climbing techniques, farm equipment hazards and mental health. Blinston says they also covered powerline safety which is an important topic this time of year.
“Especially with the harvest season, overhead powerlines are definitely a concern with the grain augers and the grain bins and the things moving around so we definitely want people to be aware of those as well.”
“Farms are one workplace that there’s a lot of hazards that are present; teens are starting to help out a lot more and be a lot more involved in the daily activities on the farm and we want to just arm them with knowledge to keep them injury-free and as safe as possible,” she adds.
Students from Sexsmith will take part in the program on September 19th. Blinston is hoping to hold another session like this in April 2020.