Farms are becoming safer as farm fatalities remain low. There was only one on-farm, farm-related death in Eastern Ontario last year. Across the province, there were seven. There were 10 Ontario farm fatalities in 2017. The historic low was four in 2016.
On the whole, deaths on the farm in Ontario have been declining fairly steadily, well down from the average 29 per year from 1990 to 2008. According to a Globe and Mail investigation in 2017, from 2011 to 2015, farming was the third most lethal occupation, based on number of fatalities for every 100,000 workers. Commercial fishing had the highest rate of deaths per capita.
Children and elderly men are perennially listed among fatalities. Two Ontario farm fatalities last year were children. Two farmers were more than 70 years old.
Here is a list of the 2018 on-farm fatalities:
1. Jan. 20:1 Jan. 20: Two-year-old Joel Sittler died in an accident on his family’s farm east of Linwood, northwest of Kitchener. Police did not release details.
2. March 9: 78-year-old David Brand, of Petrolia in Lambton County, died after falling into a storage bin filled with soybeans on his farm.
3. May 15: Trevor Neeb, a 32-year-old repairman, died after an accident involving the cultivator he was repairing on a farm at Bluewater in Huron County.
4. July 26: 24-year-old Pieter Albertus Vandenbrink, a foreign worker from the Netherlands, was found dead in a manure tank on the dairy farm where he worked at Mapleton in Wellington County.
5. Aug. 24: An 83-year-old man from Tilbury was found dead after a farming accident. Chatham-Kent police, at the request of his family, did not release his name or details.
6. Sept. 4: A four-year-old boy died after an equipment accident on the farm in Grey County. His father, 32-year-old Mennonite farmer Emanuel Bauman, had been driving the equipment at the time. Bauman was later charged with causing death by criminal negligence.
7. Sept. 19: John Munro, a volunteer firefighter and hobby farmer, died after a tractor rollover on his farm at Williamstown, in South Glengarry.