Canadian AgriSafety Applied Research Program

The Canadian AgriSafety Applied Research Program is a program aimed at supporting worker safety and productivity by stimulating, coordinating and supporting the applied research and development necessary to provide the engineering controls and occupational hygiene programs necessary to decrease and eliminate death, injury and illness in agriculture in Canada. Based on occupational hygiene principles and the hierarchy of control, the AgriSafety Program provides support for applied research projects aimed at addressing gaps in research-to-practice knowledge in order to explore solutions to important health and safety issues, and develop the knowledge, products and procedures needed to fully implement knowledge dissemination and prevention programs.

The Canadian AgriSafety Applied Research Program is coordinated and administered by Agrivita Canada Inc. For further information about the AgriSafety Program, please contact Program Manager Nadia Smith at 306-966-1648 or by email at nadia.smith@usask.ca.

Mission

To achieve, through a Canadian coordinated approach to applied research and development a safe, healthy and productive agricultural sector for farmers, farm workers, rural communities, and the Canadian public.

Vision

To position Canada as a world leader in the development of knowledge, products and procedures in agricultural safety and health.

History

The AgriSafety Program was born from recognition of the gap between the existing body of research in agricultural safety and health, and the education and intervention programs that exist. A national consultation of stakeholders was undertaken in 2002 with support from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and involved fifteen focus groups in seven provinces, and a national questionnaire. Participants overwhelmingly identified safety and health issues as of more or equal concern as crop prices, soil erosion and the environment. Key outcomes of the National Stakeholder Consultation included a confirmation of health and safety issues as critical; confirmation of the significance of the research and development gap in these areas; the validation of the need for a national program to address this gap, and preliminary identification of priorities for applied research and its application to issues of health and safety in the agricultural sector.

A National Summit of stakeholders held in 2012 with support of the private sector including Viterra, CN, Farm Credit Canada, and Federated Co-operatives Ltd. further defined the need for applied research in a number of priority areas, including air quality, water, ergonomics, environmental exposures, machinery injury, noise, vibration, chemicals, and animal handling, among others. Stakeholders voted to recommend that a national applied research and development program be supported by the Growing Forward 2 (GF2) program of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. A motion was passed by the stakeholders at this meeting “That a national coordinated program of applied research in agricultural safety known as the Canadian AgriSafety Applied Research Program aimed at enhancing the capacity of agricultural producers to manage their operations by managing risks of personal injury be supported by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada through the Growing Forward 2 (GF2) program.”

With this mandate in hand, and with input from experts from across Canada, Agrivita Canada Inc. developed the Canadian AgriSafety Applied Research Program to address the priority areas identified by stakeholders, with a focus on problems unique to each province. The AgriSafety Program was designed with the intention of taking advantage of existing infrastructure and scientific expertise, and stimulating existing research and delivery agencies to develop partnerships with the private sector aimed at matching cash support. A proposal was submitted to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada under the Industry-led Development Stream of the Growing Forward 2 (GF2) program, and the AgriSafety Program received an initial four years of support.

Current Activities

Through the support of Growing Forward 2 (GF2) in partnership with provincial governments and private sector organizations, applied research projects in two priority areas have been launched through the AgriSafety Program: the “Low Cost Roll-over Protective Structures Intervention Project,” and the “Animal Housing Environments” projects (Air Quality in Canadian Pig Buildings, and Reducing Pathogen Distribution from Animal Transport). Each project is being conducted by a team of experts from across Canada.

Low Cost Roll-Over Protective Structures Intervention Project

The objectives of the Low Cost Roll-Over Protective Structures Intervention Project are to develop and test roll-over protective structures for tractors with the overall goal of developing plans and procedures that will allow farmers with basic welding skills to build and install their own low-cost ROPS on the farm. Included in this project are the evaluation of policy and legal implications of the approach, and development of knowledge transfer approaches and best practices for sharing plans and evaluating outcomes. For more information about this project, please click the button below.

The objectives of the Animal Housing Environments Projects (Air Quality in Canadian Pig Buildings, and Reducing Pathogen Distribution from Animal Transport) are to evaluate and decrease levels of incoming and outgoing airborne contamination in swine production (including production facilities and transport of animals) through effective air filtering systems, and positively influence health and economic impacts in the animal production industry by testing means of addressing airborne contaminants including pathogens and bioaerosols.

This priority area involves two distinct projects

Air Quality in Canadian Pig Buildings: Reduction of Airborne Dust, Gas and Human Pathogens in Buildings and their Environmental Dispersion

This project aims to characterize, and optimize control or elimination of pathogens and bioaerosols from swine production facilities. For more information about this project, please click the button below.

Reducing Pathogen Distribution from Animal Transport

This project aims to develop and test a new design for animal transport trailers that seeks to facilitate control of airborne pathogen contamination, while considering operational efficiencies such as cleaning and disinfecting, and economic viability. This study will generate a practical design for an air filtration system for transport vehicles as well as information on the performance of the system for preventing infection, and information on the feasibility of the trailer air filtration design that can be immediately implemented by the industry. For more information about this project, please click the button below.

Knowledge Translation

The Canadian Centre for Health and Safety in Agriculture (CCHSA) will lead the Knowledge Translation component of theAgriSafety Program, working with each of the three projects to develop knowledge translation materials and strategies specific to each project’s unique outputs and applications, and to disseminate these materials to stakeholders in conjunction with the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association (CASA). In addition, CCHSA will be coordinating the Canadian AgriSafety Applied Research Program annual collaborative meeting of project research teams. For more information on these efforts, and to view knowledge translation materials, please click the button below.

For further information about the AgriSafety Program or any of the projects listed above, please contact Program Manager Ms. Nadia Smith at 306-966-1648 or by email at nadia.smith@usask.ca.