Farmers Forum staff
EASTERN ONTARIO — Last year, 13 Ontarians died in on-farm farm-related accidents. There were 9 fatalities in 2021. Ontario has seen on average 7.5 on-farm fatalities annually between 2014 and 2021, according to data compiled by Farmers Forum.
The vast majority of deaths every year are adult males. Two of the victims in 2022 were children. The rest were adult males ranging from 22 to 88 years of age. There were 5 fatalities in Eastern Ontario.
Farmers Forum’s compilation does not include fatalities involving farm equipment on public roadways and is compiled from news reports, police reports, obituaries and interviews. Farmers Forum compiles this report to encourage safety precautions. No official entity otherwise assembles an annual list of farm fatalities in Ontario.
Farms are reputed to be the most deadly workplace in Canada, claiming an average of 117 people annually across the country from 1990 to 2000, according to the Canadian Agricultural Injury Reporting. That average has since dropped to 85 on-farm fatalities each year across Canada.
The following are the 13 on-farm fatalities in Ontario in 2022:
- Fri., March 4: A 56-year-old unnamed male employee died in a reported fall at a Prince Edward County mushroom farm — Highline Mushrooms in Bloomfield.
- Fri., April 22: Two days before his 67th birthday, cash-cropper Mark Claessen was crushed beneath a sprayer he was trying to set up at his farm west of Mallorytown. He and his wife had lived at the farm since their arrival as newlyweds from Holland in 1978.
- Thurs., July 14: Lifelong farmer Frank Miller, 63, died after being struck by a piece of farm equipment at a McLean Road address in Essex County.
- Thurs., Aug. 4: David Smith, 57, died after rolling a farm tractor into a ditch on a farm property in South Walsingham, Norfolk County.
- Mon., Aug. 1: Klaas Baan, 40, died after falling from a ladder at a farm east of Woodstock. The farmer and married father of three ran a thriving organic fertilizer business, according to a Gofundme page set up by family members.
- Sun., Aug. 14: Garvin Yapp of Jamaica, 54, died at the Tillsonburg tobacco farm that had employed him for a reported 34 years. He was fatally injured while working with a piece of equipment, according to media accounts of the accident at the VanBerlo family farm.
- Tues., Aug. 23: An unidentified child died when run over by a skid steer loader at a farm north of Omemee.
- Thurs., Aug. 25: Grey County dairy farmer Brian Betts, 58, died after a farm accident involving a tractor and wagon outside the community of Flesherton.
- Tues., Aug. 30: An unidentified 22-year-old man died after being caught in a piece of equipment at Simcoe County’s Gwillimdale Farms, a vegetable producer.
- Mon., Nov. 7: A young girl was struck and killed by a tractor as the machine backed up in rural Woolwich Township in Waterloo Region. A 41-year-old man was operating the tractor when the tragic incident occurred that morning.
- Thurs., Nov. 10: Neil Cook, 88, was killed in the Township of Perth East, northeast of Stratford. He died when a tractor rolled back against another tractor that Cook was working on.
- Fri., Nov. 18: 82-year-old Casselman dairy farmer Daniel Coulange died in hospital about one week after sustaining head and chest injuries when his pickup truck struck a ditch while driving through a field on the farm.
- Sat., Dec. 3: A St. Andrews West farmer was killed in a combine-related accident at a farm on County Road 18, north of Cornwall. He was caught in the combine machine.