Farm Safety Focus NOVEMBER 2018 www.irishfarmersmonthly.com In safe hands Ciaran Roche, Risk Manager for FBD and Vice Chairman of the Farm Safety Partnership Committee, discusses the current priorities in tackling safety issues on the farm Ciaran Roche has worked with FBD since 1999 and has witnessed the changing landscape of safety issues on farm first hand. “Within my role at FBD, and coming from a farming background myself, a strong concentration of my remit is within farm and agriculture safety, whether it be looking at new guidance documents, new safety campaigns or best practice. Most recently, for example, we worked very closely with all the marts to put together a BeSmart risk assessment tool and training video, together with ICOS and the HSA; an ad for the public when entering the mart; and also a voluntary code of practice for those involved in the marts. National Marts Farm Safety Awareness and Remembrance Week also took place in October with FBD and the HSA sponsoring of the initiative. It was a week to remember and reflect on the loved ones that have been lost in farming accidents and to promote safety awareness. During the week every mart had a minute silence at 1.00pm in remembrance of people who have lost their lives in farming accidents and a short speech was read out by the mart manager or auctioneer after the minute’s silence. This year we decided to target the livestock issue as 42 per cent of accidents are livestock related; livestock related accidents account for the highest number of fatalities after tractors and machinery.” Culture change Earlier this year FBD launched the Farm Protect campaign, which asked farmers to make small changes in order to reduce risk on farm. “Changing behaviour and culture is a key issue we want to focus on. What I mean by culture is that there are many kinds of behaviour on the farm that are accepted as the norm, habits passed down from generation to generation: the best example I can give of this is a young child being driven in a tractor. Guidelines advise that children be at least over the age of seven and that they use a safety seat and a seatbelt in the tractor cab. We would say most farmers understand the risks – if I was to ask a group of farmers what the five biggest hazards on their farms are, and the associated risks, they would be able to tell me. But they might also tell me that they are aware that their own practices might not 36