Farm Health and Safety Manual
Subject: Emergency Preparedness Date Prepared: Feb. 2011.
Legislation: Occupational Health and Safety Act Statutes of Nova Scotia 1996, Chapter 7 in general
requires that emergency preparedness be part of your health and safety program. Occupational Health
and Safety First Aid Regulations Sec. 18 ss (1)-(5) require an employer to prepare and maintain a
written Remote Location Plan. A remote worksite location is defined as a place requiring more than 30
minutes of surface travel in one direction from an emergency care facility that is open during the
working hours of at a worksite.
Purpose: Although emergencies by definition are sudden events, their occurrence can be predicted
with some degree of certainty. An emergency plan must be part of your health and safety program. The
best way to handle an emergency is to be prepared before one occurs. An emergency plan promotes
safety awareness and shows your commitment to the safety of your workers. Pre - planning for
emergencies will help reduce the potential damage, give all personnel a clear understanding of their
roles and responsibilities identify safe effective practices and procedures. An emergency preparedness
plan can highlight deficiencies and help smooth the continuation of farming activities during and after
Since emergencies will occur, preplanning is necessary to prevent possible disaster. An urgent need for
rapid decisions, shortage of time, lack of resources and untrained personnel can lead to chaos during
an emergency. Time and circumstances in an emergency mean that normal channels of authority and
communication cannot be relied upon to function routinely. The stress of the situation can lead to poor
judgment resulting in severe losses.
Definition: An emergency is any situation or occurrence of a serious nature, developing suddenly and
unexpectedly, and demanding immediate attention.
Objectives of Emergency Preparedness:
a) Protect family , employees, animals, neighbouring farms and visitors to your farm
b) Protect property, business recovery and continuation of farming operations
c) Protect the environment
Having an emergency plan is vital to safe farm operations. Some things to include in your safety plan
A well stocked first aid kit with directions and locations to first aid stations.
Identify persons on the farm trained in first aid. Designate a job position as responsible to direct
emergency vehicles to the incident site. Inform the employee filling that position of the duty as
part of their job description. Designating a position provides continuity should employees
Emergency numbers, correct addresses and contact procedures.
Plan routes to the nearest hospital. Regularly review your Remote Location Plan and details of
your Emergency Response Plan to confirm that it is workable and still relevant to current
Regularly talk through your emergency plan with your family and other workers.
Make sure your children, family members and employees understand what to do in an
Types of Emergencies: The types of emergencies are wide and varied; some of the common ones a
farm may experience include:
Weather related - floods, hail storms, hurricanes, winter storms, severe extremes in
Sickness, injuries or fatalities at the farm, off the farm factors such as pandemics
Structure, loss of services and equipment related - fires, power outages, chemical/ fuel spills,
and major disruptions in the availability of critical supplies or services.
Examples of Emergencies:
Hazardous material spill or release
Medical emergencies - Heart attack
Complications of Diabetes
Power or fuel loss
Natural disasters - Floods
Shutdown of feed supply
Critical equipment failures that can’t be quickly corrected
Crop failure or damage, animal diseases, building collapse
Elements of emergency planning;
Prevention - An effective, functioning occupational health and safety program provides for the
identification and risk assessment of hazards, implementation of controls to reduce or eliminate
hazards, employee training, regular inspections and proper housekeeping. These procedures
can help reduce the potential and effects of emergencies and disasters
Preparedness - Identifying resources and capabilities, equipment and resources and sources of
aid before the emergency saves valuable time and resources. Training and drills identify
problem areas and allow corrective action before the emergency.
Response - Detailed response procedures assist in the safety of family, personnel and animals.
Clear procedures will assist in the continuation of farming in less time by reducing duplication
and reduce confusion.
Recovery - Some emergencies can bring a complete stop to farming. In some instances you can
control the time it takes to resume operations. Planning alternatives for recovery will make this
easier, assist in dealing with employee injuries and health, assist in easing fears and stress and
identify efficient solutions to returning to farming as quickly as possible.
Plan for prevention and be prepared in the event of an emergency. An emergency plan can be an
extensive document. The plan should provide staff members with written instructions about their
particular emergency duties. Your emergency plan should include:
a process to identify all possible emergencies, risks, consequences, required actions, written
procedures, and the resources available
detailed lists of personnel including their home telephone numbers, their duties and
a written procedure to respond to identified emergencies that includes sounding alarms,
evacuation, rescue and external resources;
employee training, identification of special needs; arrangements with other farmers,
government agencies and other organizations;
evacuation plans posted in highly visible areas; signage detailing emergency numbers, civic
address and any other information which would be helpful to anyone requesting and directing
emergency assistance to the farm and describing the location of the emergency.
a process to identify any controlled products on the site and a maximum quantity of each
regularly scheduled drills to practice the procedure, training for all affected employees;
floor plans, barn locations, solo and grain bin locations, equipment lists and
other maps showing evacuation routes and service conduits, well locations and other farm
characteristics which could be hazardous or beneficial in the event of an emergency.
Developing Your Emergency Plan
There are six key steps to developing an emergency plan:
1. If you have a number of employees you can establish a planning team. Smaller farms must
consider their own capabilities. Assistance to all farms in developing emergency plans is
available from the Society of Farm Safety Nova Scotia.
2. Assess the risk of an emergency situation and you capability to address the situation and
recover. Ask “What If?” “What actions need to follow an emergency?” “What would need to be
done to continue farming?” Who does the particular jobs and tasks needed to continue your
farm operation? ” “When and how are the procedures to be implemented to continue and
recover your farm?”
3. Develop a detailed plan.
4. Implement your plan.
5. Evaluate the effectiveness of the plan with drills and other means on a regular basis particularly
when situations and conditions change
6. Improve on your plan.
First Aid Remote Location Plan
A first aid remote location plan is required when:
a) A remote location hazard has been identified and an employer has an employee or employees
that spend more than 10% of their time measured over a four week period at the remote
b) Where a remote location hazard has been identified and any employees spend more than 25%
of their time, measured over a 4 week period, at the remote location , the employer is required
to have a written first aid remote location plan.
c) A written first aid remote plan is not required when the employer can ensure:
An injured person can be transported from the remote location to the closest emergency care
facility within a reasonable time ( 30 minutes)
There is a means of transport at the remote location for an injured worker to be transported
There is a means of summoning assistance available at the remote location
There are first aid facilities available at the remote location
There are an appropriate number of first aid attendants at the remote location
a) Fewer than 20 employees, at least one person at the remote location shall hold a
standard first aid certificate
b) Or, at least 30% of the employees at the remote workplace shall hold emergency first
The risks or hazards of the job and the likelihood of injury on the job are such that safety of the
employees has been adequately assured.
For Further Information:
Society of Farm Safety Nova Scotia
322 Willow Street, Truro, NS
Phone: (902) 893-2293