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Health & Safety Focus Offers Wide Ranging Benefits

by 5m Editor
4 January 2012, at 6:18am

CANADA - An associate professor with the Canadian Centre for Health and Safety in Agriculture says both employers and their workers have a role to play in reducing the risks encountered when working with swine, according to Bruce Cochrane.

Agricultural workers in Saskatchewan are governed by health and safety legislation, employers are required to look after the health and safety of their workers and workers are required to follow health and safety rules set out by the legislation and their employers.

Dr Niels Koehncke, an associate professor with the Canadian Centre for Health and Safety in Agriculture, says reducing the health risks in agricultural operations requires a focused cooperative approach on the part of both management and workers.

Dr Niels Koehncke-Canadian Centre for Health and Safety in Agriculture

The risks I think in agriculture in general and certainly in swine production as well as other elements of agriculture are quite broad and there are certainly plenty of chemical risks for starters including gases and other chemical exposures, particulate hazards from dusts and other particulates in that environment.

There are plenty of physical hazards in particular risks of physical trauma and other physical hazards like noise, possibly vibration and things of that nature.

There are certainly ergonomic risks which kind of tie in with physical hazards a little bit but also sort of more chronic ergonomic risks and exposures that result in musculoskeletal injury and then, as with any industry, and I don't think swine production agriculture is any exception, psychological hazards, stress and other factors that might have a bearing on the psychological health and well being of workers.

Dr Koehncke says risk reduction and hazard control initiatives benefit the employee and the employer benefits through increased productivity and there's demonstrated economic benefits from having an effective health and safety programme in the workplace.

He notes there's also evidence that a focus on health and safety can prove to be a powerful recruitment tool.

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Mycotoxins in Swine Production

The impact of mycotoxins — through losses in commodity quality and livestock health — exceeds $1.4 billion in the United States alone, according to the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology. This guide includes:

  • An overview of different types of mycotoxins
  • Understanding of the effects of mycotoxicoses in swine
  • Instructions on how to analyze mycotoxin content in commodities and feeds
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