Safety Culture

Wendy Bennett, Country Life in BC; June 2016
What exactly do farmers think about when the phrase ‘safety culture’ is mentioned?

In visiting this topic with agriculture safety professionals from around the country we asked this question. Each of us had difficulty coming up with any answer, let alone THE answer. The one consistent thought however, was that safety needs to be ingrained in everything that you do.

Safety shouldn’t take extra time, and it certainly shouldn’t cost extra money. Allowing for either or those variables means that safety has the option to be bypassed. It doesn’t.

If safety considerations are taken into account before each action, then with time, it should become an automatic response without additional thought or intention, like putting on your seatbelt when you drive your car. While some people still refrain from doing this, it is safe to say that the majority have adapted to the rule of wearing a seatbelt when operating a motor vehicle.

This wasn’t always the case, but with education and experience, buckling up is an automatic action for most drivers that goes hand in hand with turning the key in the ignition. That is ‘safety culture’ in the simplest sense.

Let’s make safety culture something that is transferable and universal to all farming activities.
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