The theme of day two of Farm Safety Week UK and Ireland focuses on machinery and transport and the role that both play in life-changing and life-ending injuries on the farmyard. Farm Safety Week UK and Ireland, now in its fifth year, is an initiative led by the Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) in Ireland and supported by a number of agencies, including the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) and members of the Farm Safety Partnership.
Poorly-used or faulty vehicles and machinery are a major cause of death and injury on farms, according to the IFA. The farming organisation is highlighting the danger posed by unguarded PTO shafts or other unguarded moving parts such as pulleys and belts, and the ease at which hands, hair and clothing can be mangled as a result. People can be injured by front-end loaders, falling from a moving tractor or being struck by its wheels, the IFA said.
“Machinery and transport continue to be the main causes of life-changing and life-ending injuries on farms. In fact, of the 21 farm workers who lost their lives in agriculture in 2016, 12 were workplace machinery-transport related," said IFA president, Joe Healy.
“Farm safety training is improving across the country and the Farm Safety Partnership is continuing to communicate directly with farmers across the country. We all agree that farming is an industry that has decided that enough is enough and changes need to happen.”
“Everybody in farming knows somebody who has been injured or killed in an accident. Reminding farmers that farm safety is a lifestyle and not a slogan seems like the right thing to do this week, given the culture of risk-taking in the industry. One day your luck could run out. One day it could be you.
“Agricultural machinery may be advancing with safety features but it is still dangerous so please take a minute to use the 'Safe Stop' approach," said Mr Healy.
"Ensure tractors, telehandlers and associated equipment is switched off when doing routine tasks or making routine checks and maintenance and take your time to think about what you are doing and what might go wrong. Making a few simple checks could actually save a life, maybe your own.”
For more information on Farm Safety Week UK and Ireland visit www.ifa.ie/farm-safety or follow @IFAmedia or #FarmSafetyWeek on Twitter