Bill 6 Benefits For Farmers Are Far-Reaching
On December 10, 2015, the Alberta Provincial Government passed Bill 6 – the Enhanced Protection for Farm and Ranching Workers Act. Until this time, farm and ranch employers were not required to register with the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) or provide any form of workplace insurance for employees. The Farming and Ranching Exemption regulation didn’t allow health and safety inspectors to enter or conduct investigations on farms and ranches where people, including children, have been seriously injured or killed. It is estimated that between 1990 and 2015, 9,000 workers have sustained injuries requiring hospitalization and approximately 400 people have lost their lives on Alberta farms and ranches. 65 were children.
Benefits of farmers’ workplace insurance are far-reaching
I have the good fortune of living and working in a rural community and I have also had the privilege of working with individuals and families whose livelihoods depend on farming and ranching. In addition to this, I am proud to be a member of a multigenerational farming family. Over the years I have observed a trend in regard to farm related injuries and the economic and social ramifications for those who are not covered by workplace insurance.