Insights & Articles
Staying Safe in Rural Ontario
Living in rural Ontario is oftentimes described as peaceful and idyllic. Far away from the bustle of city life, many families make their living in the province’s agricultural industry. In fact, Ontario boasts the largest number of farms nationwide with over 17,000 being located in our beautiful Southwestern countryside.
However, with rural living comes unique safety risks. Agricultural related injuries are oftentimes severe, taking a heavy toll on the injured individual’s income or future earning potential. With farming comes the risk of tractor accidents, exposure to chemicals, slip & falls, and defective equipment. Common injuries suffered from farming-related accidents including dismemberment, spinal injuries, neck and back injuries, and burns.
While some accidents are unavoidable, the vast majority are caused by negligence in the form of inadequate training, defective equipment/products, a lack of visible warnings, and a failure to use or provide proper personal protective equipment.
Injuries are not necessarily limited to those working in the agricultural field. In the event that you are travelling by vehicle in rural Ontario, be aware of your surroundings including any farm equipment being operated on or near roadways. Farmers are subject to specific safety requirements under the Highway Safety Act while operating their farm implements, however, injuries happen. These machines often have limited cones-of-vision.
Safety is always a priority. If you are attempting to pass a farm implement on a roadway, do not expect the vehicle to pull over on the shoulder – they have the right to share the road. Instead, slow down, be aware of your surroundings. When it is safe to do so, pass the farm implement. Make sure to use your indicators and ensure the driver can see you before passing. Do not pass on a hill or where the vision of oncoming traffic is limited.
Motorists should also be aware of wild animals and livestock often wander into rural roadways. Always be aware of your surroundings when driving, especially at night.
In the event that you are injured, receiving compensation from a rural injury requires the help of legal experts. The lawyers at McKenzie Lake have the experience needed to ensure that you or your family receive just and fair compensation.
McKenzie Lake is equipped to provide big-city service to all of the rural communities of Southwestern Ontario in-person and remotely; we continue to be available by telephone, email, and video conferencing during the Covid-19 restrictions and welcome any new clients.
Written by Michelle McLeod and Articling Student Ryan Amez