Looking out for more than your physical health while working in agriculture

Chris Lowrey PONTIAC March 12-18, 2018 When the term “agricultural safety” is mentioned, many people tend to think about the physical threats that exist on a farm that could maim or kill farmers. But far too often, it’s the mental toll that many people don’t tend to think about. A recent study done by the Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph shows that 60 per cent of Canadian farmers experienced some level of anxiety, 35 per cent suffer from depression and 45 per cent suffer from high stress. The study polled more than 1,100 farmers across the country between September 2015 and January 2016. These numbers were two to four times higher than those recorded by farmers in the United Kingdom and Norway. Although there is no recent data for Quebec, a 1987 study found that male farmers in the province have a suicide rate more than twice that of men in the general public. This obviously needs more study if the most contemporary data we have is 30 years old.

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