By Tom Collins
Ontario is part of a national trend seeing a decreasing number of farm fatalities.
There were 10 on-farm farm-related deaths in Ontario last year, the second-lowest on file and down from 11 in 2014. The average age was 42.
Ontario recorded its fewest fatalities in 2012 with eight. The three-year average is 13.
The current trend is a dramatic decrease from the average of 29 deaths per year in Ontario from 1990 to 2008.
Nationwide, there was an average 117 Canadian farm deaths a year from 1990 to 2000, according to the Canadian Agricultural Injury Reporting. That average decreased to 86 from 2001 to 2012 and dropped to a 23-year low of 60 in 2012.
Last year saw nine of the 10 Ontario fatalities occur in Western Ontario.
Two children were killed on their families’ farm last year. Both were from Western Ontario. An 18-month-old girl died after she drowned in a barn’s water trough in Huron County. A four-year-old boy died when a dual tire — leaning against a barn — tipped over onto the boy in Grey County.
Historically, most fatalities occur during planting and harvest but only one death was recorded last year during those periods. Long hours and fatigue often contribute to accidents and fatalities. Not including peak work periods, a 2013 Farm Journal survey of 1,600 farmers found that 56 per cent of farmers work 10 to 14 hours a day, while 17 per cent work 15 hours or more.
Ontario farm fatalities drop for second year
By Tom Collins