Work alone monitoring protects Canada’s agriculture workers

Most legislation across Canada requires work-alone monitoring across all industries when employees work alone. The agriculture sector is no exception. As agriculture is a dangerous industry with many risks, a rigorous lone worker monitoring system is an absolute must. Work alone monitoring helps to reduce serious injuries and fatalities on the job.

Agriculture workers face injury and fatalities

Agriculture has long been one of the most dangerous sectors in Canada. In fact, agriculture is considered the fourth most hazardous industry! Between 2003 and 2012, 843 died in agricultural events, according to Canadian Agricultural Injury Reporting

Furthermore, between 1990 and 2008, the fatality rate for agricultural workers was higher than that for motor-vehicle collisions. The average number of yearly fatalities fell to 84 between 2003 and 2012 from 116 between 1990 and 2001. However, the farming population of Canada has also been decreasing, which is something to consider. Taking steps to protect agriculture workers is as important as ever.

Understanding hazards

A key part of keeping lone workers safe is first identifying their risks and hazards. A risk assessment should be the first step when developing a risk management plan. Equipment is a common hazard in most industries-especially in agriculture.

The leading causes of agriculture-related fatalities are equipment related. According to Canadian Agricultural Injury Reporting, machine runovers and being pinned by machine components were responsible for 44% of all deaths between 2003 and 2012. In winter, 15% of fatalities also came from entanglement in moving machine parts.

Additionally, agriculture-workers face fatality and injury from animals, traffic collisions, falls and being struck by objects. There are also risks of falling into grain bins and electrocution from hitting overhead power lines with equipment. 

Protecting foreign workers

In 2020, foreign workers made up nearly 18% of all workers in the agriculture industry. Furthermore, crop production employs most foreign workers (92%) in the sector. (According to Statistics Canada: Agriculture and agri-food labour statistics, 2020) This industry is hazardous, making protecting these foreign workers all the more important. 

A language barrier or unfamiliarity with standard safety procedures may place these workers at even higher risk. Therefore, implementing work safety processes, such as lone worker monitoring, is critical.

Lone worker monitoring solutions

Lone worker safety monitoring helps protect agricultural workers on the job site. In addition, it provides additional peace of mind for employees and employers by creating a safer working environment.

A check-in system is an effective method of keeping lone workers safe in both low and high-risk environments. It’s also entirely customizable. CommAlert can tailor your lone worker safety solution to unique work situations and worker-specific needs. 

Throughout the duration of the worker’s shift, they check in with 24/7 live operators at scheduled intervals. They receive call-in reminders during the shift if necessary and check-in at the beginning and end. The live operators begin a call-out and other safety procedures if the worker misses a check-in.

Monitoring systems allow fast emergency responses and help prevent serious injuries and fatalities, and are essential for lone worker safety. A reliable and effective lone worker monitoring system, like that offered by CommAlert, can help keep agricultural workers safe .

Contact us to learn more about our lone worker monitoring service.