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Alberta groups want say as province looks to improve farm worker safety

Hail falls on a farm near Airdrie, Alberta August 7, 2014.
Hail falls on a farm near Airdrie, Alberta August 7, 2014. File/Global News

EDMONTON – Agriculture groups say they want to be at the table as Alberta moves to include farm and ranch workers under provincial occupational health and safety rules.

Alberta is the only province that excludes farm employees from workers’ compensation coverage and employment standards laws.

The farmer-elected agriculture groups include the Alberta barley, canola, pulse and wheat commissions.

Some groups met with government officials in late June, but want to ensure their views are included in coming months.

Rob Davies, general manager of Alberta Barley, says groups have heard some new rules are coming between next year and 2017, but some people believe the government wants to move more quickly.

Labour Minister Lori Sigurdson says the government wants to hear from farmers and will release more information about its plans this fall.

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