WILLIAMSTOWN — South Glengarry Township volunteer firefighter and hobby farmer John Hugh Munro was killed in a tractor rollover last month. He was working at home when his tractor rolled over onto him. It did not have a roll bar.
A volunteer with the Glengarry Fire Service for 34 years, the 61-year-old Munro also worked for the township’s road department for 10 years. He had recently retired.
The township lowered its flags to half-staff in Munro’s honour. Said Fire Chief Dave Robertson: “Our department is brokenhearted.” Not only was Hugh a dear friend, he said, but an active and well-known member of his community.
Bainsville crop farmer Shawn McRae said the whole community was grief-stricken. “You’d never find anybody who could say a bad word about him.”
Roll bars are a more common feature on the farm than they were, because safety standards now require them, said agricultural safety specialist Rob Gobeil with the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association. Where farmers run into trouble is with older tractors, built before modern standards kicked in.
After-market options are available, but they also don’t have to meet the same safety standards.
Heavy equipment is the single most dangerous feature on the farm; nearly half of all Canadian farm fatalities involve someone being struck by a machine, most often a tractor or combine.