Every farm workplace in British Columbia must have a health and safety program – however, the type of program will depend on the expected hazards of the farm (or commodity type), and the number of workers. Large workplaces must have a formal written program, while smaller workplaces are required to have a more informal program. FARSHA's health and safety program was developed to meet the occupational health and safety regulation and can be used on any agricultural workplace in BC.
What type of health and safety program should you have on your farm?
Dairy farms, farm services (harvesting equipment), feed lots, stockyards, grain farms, hay or seed farms, haying operations, and ranches are considered to be high risk. Artificial insemination operations, animal breeding farms, berry farms, greenhouses, hog farms, white mushroom farms, orchards, and vegetable farms are considered to be moderate risk. If there are more than 20 workers, you must have a formal written health and safety program; if there are fewer than 19 workers, the program can be more informal.
Apiaries, egg farms, ornamental nurseries, poultry catching operations, poultry farms, poultry hatcheries, and vineyards are considered to be low risk. If there are more than 50 workers, you must have a formal written health and safety program; if there are fewer than 49 workers, the program can be more informal.
What type of health and safety committee or worker participation should you have on your farm?
In addition to having a health and safety program, every workplace in BC – including farm workplaces – must involve workers in its health and safety efforts. This is done through joint worker-management health and safety committees. Any workplace with 20 or more workers must have a committee, while those with between 10 and 19 workers must have a designated worker health and safety representative. Workplaces with fewer than 9 workers can involve everyone in health and safety through regular meetings, crew sessions, or presentations.