The occupational health and safety risks associated with farming have long been known. The introduction of recreational (legalized) cannabis, which will take effect on October 17, 2018, adds uncertainty for farmers, even if they are not part of the cannabis production or growing industry.
All provinces and territories have occupational health and safety legislation that broadly applies to all industries, including farming and agribusiness. While the specific requirements may differ from one jurisdiction to the next, most require that a farming or agribusiness employer prepare and review, at least annually, a written occupational health and safety policy, as well as develop and maintain a program to implement that policy. In Ontario, for example, an employer who regularly employs more than five employees must have a program in place to implement its occupational health and safety policy. In Saskatchewan, most employers with 10 or more workers must have an occupational health and safety program.