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  • Vermilion Voice

Second Annual Farm Worker Safety Workshop

A student practices dispensing a fire extinguisher on May 10. Photos Angela Mouly

Acquiring preparedness skills, 47 students from surrounding area schools attended the Farm Worker Safety Workshop held at Lakeland College in Vermilion on May 10. Organizers were thrilled to have 20 more participants in their second year, and hope the event continues to grow in the coming years.

Many of the participants were students enrolled in the Green Certificate Program, including Cole Chesterman from Edgerton, and Jared Tennant from Bawlf. They enjoyed getting to know the equipment and hands on experience.

From left, Cole Chesterman and Jared Tennant at the Farm Safety Workshop in Vermilion on May 10.

“Be aware what is underneath and above the ground. Safety is the first priority with anything,” said Cole Chesterman after a session on electricity, livestock, mixing chemicals and the hazards associated.

“With the experience gained on our own farms, this opportunity gave us different perspectives to situations that can occur in general or daily work,” said Jared Tennant.

Lakeland College and Green Certificate, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, and Ag for Life partnered together to ensure that youth working in the industry are kept safe.

“We see work force training in a very positive light. Young workers are more likely to be injured on the job within the first six months, so programs like this are vital,” said Alberta Government Farm Safety Specialist, Nicole Hornett.

Smokey Lake Green Certificate Coordinator, Hal Ziprick, brought 22 participants, and felt that bringing awareness was key.

“When you are raised in a small town, it doesn’t matter if you lived on a farm or not; you may have even been a part of the lifestyle when visiting friends. In our area, we have experienced ATV problems, and aim to keep people safe in the future. It is important to expose them because I have seen my students go on to work as electricians, plumbers, county gas employees, attend Lakeland College for veterinary medicine and fish and wildlife, and sell agricultural equipment.

Fire extinguisher and farm machinery safety sessions were also held with important recommendations and hands on experience. After learning about the different kinds of fire (incipient, free-burning, and smoldering), and learning the proper technique, participants each had an opportunity to extinguish a flame.

Larry Lundquist advises students on machine safety on May 10

Participants were urged not to assume things, and know their surroundings. They were told that they are the only ones responsible for their own safety, and so they were told to check things themselves, and take the safe side all of the time; using caution and not being in a rush.

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