New support line available for Alberta farmers

AgSafe Alberta hotline there to help navigate new farm rules and regulations

A new information hotline to help those involved in agriculture is ready, willing and able to assist in navigating the recently introduced regulatory framework.

The hotline — 1-833-9AG-SAFE (942-7233) — which is available 24 hours per day year-round and confidential went live on June 14.

AgSafe Alberta, an industry-led agency created last year, was designed to help deliver and develop farm safety management programs and resources in order to give Alberta agricultural operations assistance when dealing with incidents. The group has a board of directors consisting of representation from 26 crop and livestock producer groups along with a small number of staff.

“We used AgSafe BC as a model for setting up AgSafe Alberta and this was one of the services that they offered,” explained executive director Jody Wacowich.

“The board felt that this would be an important tool to support producers through an incident and trying to help them understand the process that is new to farms and ranches in Alberta.”

Despite the hotline being up for over a month, it has not been utilized yet.

“We have not received any calls to the hotline yet,” Wacowich said.

“You could say this is a good thing that there were not any major farm accidents, but we are also working on creating the awareness of the line across the province as well.”

A major incident would include a fatality or injury, property damage and even a near miss. According to Wacowich, the hotline is there to assist.

“The team at AgSafe Alberta is dedicated to providing support to our farmers and ranchers as they work through the process of managing a serious incident,” she said.

However, since calling in is voluntary and confidential, staff will do what they can to help the individual determine what needs to be done, but contacting the proper regulatory authorities is up to the farmer.

“We would like the callers to call emergency services first and make sure that the injured person gets the help they need as quickly as possible. We want them to call us after when they have questions or know that Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) is coming out to investigate,” she stated.

“Depending on the type of incident, there are legal requirements to report, so we would let the caller know what those are so that they can make the call.”

The hotline is free as are any of the services and advice given.

“We offer support over the phone and we can try to also get a team member out in person if requested or needed. If there is a stop-work order issued on the farm, we want to be able to find solutions to get the farm or ranch operating again, especially if we are in a time-sensitive situation like feeding animals or harvest,” added Wacowich.

“AgSafe Alberta is not government, we are industry-led and we want to support resources and education to producers on the OHS legislation and how it affects farms and ranches. The hotline is one of many tools we offer to do this.”

More information about AgSafe Alberta and what they can do for producers is available at www.agsafeab.ca.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

International Day of Older Persons celebrations planned on Oct. 1

The Town of Ponoka and the Ponoka branch of the Royal Canadian… Continue reading

Central zone down to 16 active COVID-19 cases

Alberta Health Services’ central zone is down to 16

Ermineskin Kindergarten has a confirmed case of COVID-19

The school has shut down and Cohort 2 is in self-isolation

Ponoka County discusses Poulsen’s Pasture

Policing costs, Bobtail Road bridge replacement and other Ponoka County council briefs

Central zone down to 19 active COVID-19 cases on Thursday

Provincially, 158 new COVID-19 cases were identified

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

Best of Ponoka Readers’ Choice Awards 2020

Here is your chance to show your support for the outstanding services… Continue reading

Canadian ski resorts wrestle with pandemic-vs.-profit dilemma as COVID-19 persists

Few are actually restricting the total number of skiers they allow on the hill

End of CERB means uncertainty for some, new system for others

As of a week ago, the CERB had paid out $79.3 billion to 8.8 million people

No winning ticket for Friday night’s $50 million Lotto Max jackpot

Jackpot for the next draw will grow to approximately $55 million

Wilkinson aims to be B.C. premier after cabinet role, working as doctor and lawyer

The B.C. election is Wilkinson’s first as the Liberal party leader

First Nations police services look to throne speech pledge for higher, stable funding

‘I won’t be happy until I hear two words: royal assent’

8 charged, $260K in drugs and cash seized in massive Alberta drug bust

Eight people are facing 33 charges in what police have dubbed Project Incumbent

Millet Agriplex to become a hub for indoor soccer

Wetaskiwin Soccer Club will be operating out of the Millet Agriplex this season.

Most Read