Petition to WorkSafe BC: Create a New Class of Small-Scale Vegetable Farming

Posted by Moss Dance on June 18, 2018 3 Comments

Carrots - WorkSafeBC create new class of small-scale vegetable farming

John Hofer, a farmer in our Young Agrarians network, is calling all small-scale veggie farmers and supporters of local agriculture to sign his petition. The petition is asking WorkSafeBC to set a lower insurance rate standard for small-scale vegetable growers.


The WorkSafeBC website describes how industries are classified in order to set premium rates. This is an excerpt from that description:

Our classification system groups employers in similar industries with similar levels of risk, so we’re able to set fair rates and charge your industry an appropriate rate that reflects the rate of injury and illness in your industry.

The classification unit is the basic grouping of our classification system. It represents one or more industries and is based on the products they produce, the services they provide, and the processes, technology, or materials they use.

Employers in the same industry share the same classification unit and pay the same base premium rate for insurance. An industry’s base premium rate reflects the risk of injury and historical claim costs. The higher the risk and relative claim costs, the higher the industry’s base premium rate will be.


Vegetable farms that do not grow produce exclusively in greenhouses are registered in Classification Unit 701025 (Vegetable Farming). All vegetable (non-greenhouse) farms are covered in this Classification Unit regardless of the type or amount of equipment used in the farming activity. The classification unit description can be found here.


John is seeking support for his request that WorkSafeBC consider the creation of a new classification that reflects small vegetable farming. Currently, all vegetable farms are classified as if they use large mechanized equipment, toxic pesticides and fertilizers and mass produce handling systems. Small vegetable farms do not operate with those risks and we think it is unfair to expect small operations to subsidize large farming operations.

Cherry tomatoes - WorkSafeBC create new class of small-scale vegetable farming


Please lend your support by signing John’s petition to lobby WorkSafeBC to create a classification that reflects the risks associated with small vegetable farms—along with a premium rate that takes these risks into account.


And please use the share buttons below to spread the word! 

3 thoughts on “Petition to WorkSafe BC: Create a New Class of Small-Scale Vegetable Farming

  1. This is all good and should be done. But I have yet to see a petition that actually had any sway with governments

  2. Most small Farms have limited mechanical equipment. There is a huge difference in the way a small Farm operates compared to large Farms. The classification system does not take the risk factors on a small Farm into consideration. It is unfair and hugely expensive for small Farmers whose income levels are much lower than large Farms by economies of scale.

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