Silo accidents: training to stop the bleeding

NEWPORT – “If it saves one life, it will be worth it,” says Marie-Antoine Roy, a producer who is on a crusade to put an end to accidents during silage. The latter organized a preventive training in the wake of the death of Nicolas Lanciaux, a 34-year-old from Coaticook, who died in the spring doing this task.
Ithas been several years since Marie-Antoine Roy has been trying to make the province’s producers aware of the working methods to be adopted to make silage safe. His interest in this cause began in 2012, when one of his employees was close to fainting and falling.

“Seven years ago, it was a hair’s throw to have a silage incident on the farm,” says the owner of the Malvibois Sheepfold in Newport. After this adventure, we are equipped to make sure we never get close to a tragedy. We never know when it can happen, we never enter silos without our gas detectors. ”

At a time when incidents causing death and serious injury are increasing, four workers have been involved in serious silage accidents this summer alone, Mr. Roy can no longer sit and tolerate this plague.

“I tried to spread the word for several years, but with the death of Nicolas Lanciaux, a family friend who had such a bright future ahead of him, I went up a gear,” he continues. His father thanked me and supports me in my efforts. We can not lose our agricultural succession, it is so precious. That’s why I decided to organize a training and I hope very much that the UPA will embark. ”

Two-step work

The first training session in a series of six focused on the methods of work to be adopted. Two things must be done to make the chances of intoxication inside the silos null, the producer says.

“It starts with ventilation,” he explains. Silos must be well ventilated with equipment designed for this purpose. Then workers must have five-gas detectors at their disposal, as they are called. It’s not expensive equipment in itself and it’s safe for farm workers when they’re in silos. ”

Before getting equipped, however, we must recognize the problem and decide to tackle it. This is the most difficult step, confirms Mr. Roy, who says the subject is taboo in the producer community.

“There is a taboo related to silage accidents, no doubt, recognizes the instigator of the training. We are never proud of our less good moves. When I talk about it, people often tell me that it happened at home too, that they avoided the disaster of little. We just hear about fatal cases in the media, but there are many that cause serious injuries that go unmentioned. ”

“Producers have been doing this for years, they have learned a way and it has always worked for them, so some are reluctant to change their practices, he admits. The message is hard to come by and I recognize it, I do not want to give lessons to people, I just want to try to save lives. ”

Representatives from the provincial UPA and the CSSNET were on hand to attend the training and determine its relevance, who will be called upon to play an important role in distributing this knowledge to their members.

“As we are committed to the safety of our members and silage incidents are recurring, we must have an action plan,” confirms Martin Caron, vice-president of UPA-Quebec. . We are already talking about prevention methods to implement in our health and safety courses on the farm, but the message is difficult to reach. ”

“We’re going to make adjustments as we go along, but I wanted to get the process going in earnest,” says Roy, who has attracted about 30 farm workers to his first training on his farm. If it saves one life, it will be worth it. “

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