Farmscape for September 7, 2017
The Human Resources and Training Coordinator with Manitoba Pork is encouraging swine barn managers to be watching for signs of fatigue among workers dealing with Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea.
Since the end of April 73 swine production sites in southeastern and south central Manitoba have been confirmed infected by Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea.
Janice Goldsborough, the Human Resources and Training Coordinator with Manitoba Pork, says having to deal with sick animals, especially the baby piglets, is resulting in a lot of stress on farm workers.
Clip-Janice Goldsborough-Manitoba Pork:
It could be similar to PTSD, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, when people are on a daily basis having to deal with the poor little pigs that either pass away or they have to be put down.
After awhile that can get very trying on somebody who's dealing with that pretty much on a daily basis.
The factors are just the daily workings of the barn and trying to make sure they're not spreading the disease to other areas.
It gets very trying and very tiring after awhile both physically but definitely as well as mentally.
The symptoms can vary from person to person.
Some of it could be that they're not sleeping or they're feeling very tired.
They might be having nightmares if they are sleeping, poor concentration, there could be memory problems, difficulty thinking, headaches, just an overall feeling of not being able to cope.
It can really add up for people if they don't stop and focus on themselves and looking after themselves.
Goldsborough says employees need to make sure they're getting enough rest, eating properly and getting breaks from the stresses of their work and the employer needs to be watching for signs of mental and physical fatigue and be prepared to take action by providing time off, moving workers to less stressful positions and by providing counseling.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.
*Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork