How do you inform farm workers, scouts and others about the Restricted Entry Interval (REI) of pesticides you use? The REI is the period of time after a pesticide has been applied that workers or anyone else must not do hand labour tasks in that treated area. One way to inform everyone of REIs is to post signs at any entrance into treated areas. In collaboration with government and industry leaders, the Ontario Pesticide Education Program (OPEP) has available 2 designs of ready-to-use signs that growers can purchase to inform others to stay out of treated areas. Continue reading REI (re-entry interval) signs available
“If you work on a farm where pesticides are used, you need to know how to work safely around pesticides. The information in this manual explains how farm workers can work safely on a farm that uses pesticides.”
What is 85 dB and How do I Measure it?
What this means to farmers
A decibel is essentially a unit of measurement for sound. It is a measure of power or intensity of a specific sound. Decibels work in a logarithmic function. For example, 85 decibels is two times louder than 83 decibels, thus for every 3 decibels increased above 85 the sound power doubles and the recommended exposure period is reduced by half.
This new regulation states that employers are required to ensure that employees are not exposed to sound levels equivalent to or greater than 85 dBA, Lex,8. In other words, farmers and other employers shall ensure employees are not exposed to 85 decibels of sound for duration of approximately eight hours. This is due to the possibility of hearing damage occurring.
There are different methods to measure decibels in a work environment. They…
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This is part one of two articles on these new regulations.
Part one of two.
As of July 1st 2016 all employers in Ontario, including farmers, are required to comply with new workplace noise regulations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. The legislation states that farmers and other employers shall ensure that their employees are not exposed to hazardous levels of noise. Hazardous noise, according to the legislation, is 85 dBA or louder, for a time period of approximately eight hours. Examples of 85 dBA are illustrated below.
This legislation does not apply to self-employed farmers with no employees.
What this Means to Farmers
This results in additional responsibilities for farmers to ensure safe working conditions for their employees.
- Farmers shall take reasonable measures for the circumstances, to protect workers from exposure to hazardous sound levels.
- Noise protective measures may be engineering controls (altering work environment), work practices and, where required and permitted, hearing protection devices.
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A new regulation will require health and safety awareness training for every worker and supervisor under Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). The regulation comes into force July 1, 2014. This includes all farms with paid employees.
One way to complete the new health and safety awareness training will be for workers and supervisors to take part in a one-hour tutorial either individually or in groups using free, online e-learning tools or hard copy workbooks. The training is designed to help prevent workplace incidents and injuries by making workers and supervisors aware of their roles, rights and responsibilities in the workplace.
Workplaces that have provided similar training to employees will not need to participate, as long as the previous training met the minimum requirements of the new regulation.
New and young workers are three times more likely to be injured in the first month of their employment than more experienced workers.
Training materials are available at: http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/hs/training/index.php
- Once the e-learning training module is complete, an employee will receive a certificate that is valid for the remainder of his or her career.
- The printed training materials are available in nine languages.
- You do not have to report the training to the Ministry, but you must maintain a record of completion for all of your workers and supervisors and be able to present it should a ministry inspector visit your farm or workplace. A record of completion can be as simple as your employee signing and dating their workbook.