Health and safety in farming operations
Learn about hazards on farms and what you can do as an employer to comply with the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
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As an employer, you have a duty to protect workers under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). The OHSA applies to all farming operations that have paid workers, with some exceptions.
Everyone has a responsibility for keeping themselves and their workplaces healthy and safe. Under the OHSA:
- employers have the greatest responsibility for health and safety in the workplace and have a legal obligation to take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of workers
- supervisors must also take appropriate steps to identify and address workplace hazards
- workers must report hazards they know about to their employer or supervisor
Read our Guide to the Occupational Health and Safety Act for Farming Operations to learn more about duties under the OHSA.
You must be aware of your responsibilities regarding workplace violence and workplace harassment and you must comply with the following regulations:
- Regulation 414/05: Farming Operations
- Regulation 834: Critical Injury Defined
- Regulation 297/13: Occupational Health and Safety Awareness and Training
- Regulation 381/15: Noise
The following guidelines help you recognize hazards on farms and fulfill your responsibilities under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA):
- farm equipment
- large animal handling
- personal protective equipment
- lockout procedures
- hazardous atmospheres and confined spaces
- slips, trip and falls
- occupational illness
These guidelines were jointly developed by representatives from the farming community, Workplace Safety and Prevention Services, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development.
Read our guideline on heat stress to learn more about keeping workers safe in any workplace where there may be hot weather or indoor environments with extreme temperatures.
These guidelines do not replace the OHSA and its regulations, and should not be used as or considered legal advice. Health and safety inspectors apply the law based on the facts in the workplace.
Health and safety committees
Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), workers and employers must work together to keep the workplace healthy and safe. Most farming operations are required to have either a joint health and safety committee or a worker health and safety representative.
The committee or representative identifies potential health and safety problems and brings them to the employer's attention.
Learn more about health and safety committees and representatives in farming.
Learn about what you can expect when inspectors visit your workplace for occupational health and safety inspections and investigations. Watch our videos about:
Read alerts about specific hazards on farming operations: