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AUGUST 2019
Farm Safety
www.irishfarmersmonthly.com
FBD Insurance Group Ltd trading as FBD Insurance is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.
Protection.
It's in our nature.
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Farm Safety Week an initiative of the
Farm Safety Foundation is supported
by a number of agencies, including the
Health and Safety Authority (HSA) and
members of the Farm Safety Partnership
Advisory Committee. Farming continues
to have one of the poorest safety
records of any sector in Ireland, last
year 15 people lost their lives in farm
accidents, with 12 confirmed deaths
so far in 2019. The campaign seeks
to: continue to raise awareness of
farming having one of the poorest
safety records of any occupation in the
UK and Ireland; share good practice
and demonstrate what this looks like;
and continue to support the physical
and mental wellbeing of the industry.
During the week a number of events
were held in marts and farms around
the country. Andrew Phelan, a beef and
suckler farmer in Co. Kilkenny, hosted
a public event focusing on raising
awareness of the dangers on the farm.
"Sometimes you can't see the small
things on your own farm awareness
is everything. I first got involved in
the Farmer to Farmer Programmes to
raise awareness." These programmes
facilitate a group of neighbouring farmers
to visit each other's farm and learn from
each other in the process. "Sometimes
you need a fresh pair of eyes to see what
could be done better." Andrew notes that
addressing issues such as better animal
handling facilities can be inexpensive but
can make a huge di erent to the safety
of your farm. "I have done some work on
fencing and added infrastructure, and it
can be inexpensive and e ective. Farming
can be a lone job and often you can be
out in the middle of the night dealing
with a calf, which is a very dangerous
time. If you get injured, who is there to
do the work for you?" Alice Doyle, IFA
Farm Family Committee, comments:
"The biggest problem we have at the
moment is that farmers are creatures
are habit because they are doing the
same thing year after year. There is
more haste than ever before because
we are trying to reach deadlines, less
manpower on the farm, more work to
be done, less time to do it... so there
is fatigue which is a huge contributing
factor; and sometimes because of
finance there isn't properly maintained
machinery. So all of this can lead to
accidents. But a lot of this can be
reduced I'm not saying we can wipe it
out, but we can certainly reduce it. We
know familiarity leads to complacency
but if we get people to take one or two
minutes to check vital things [before
proceeding with a job] we think we
could save lives." Commenting on the
importance of Farm Safety Week, the
Minister for Agriculture, Food and the
Marine, Michael Creed, TD, stated: "This
initiative, along with others such as the
recent HSA Farm Safety campaign at
the end of April which focused on the
safe use of tractors and machinery, are
very important in increasing awareness of
the unacceptable level of farm accidents
that occur every year within our industry
and the need for continual awareness
of farm safety.
It is important to remember that farms
are both work places and family homes
and it is important that the whole family
is alert to the risks that exist on farms.
Great care is required to ensure that
tragic accidents do not occur. One
of the first steps in helping to achieve
a safe farm is for farmers to adhere to
the Farm Safety Code of practice and to
review their Farm Risk Assessment."
Awareness is key
The seventh annual Farm
Safety Week UK and Ireland
took place last month, an
initiative led by the IFA in
Ireland, aiming to reduce
the number of accidents
on farms and bring about
a change in culture that
makes unsafe practices
socially unacceptable. The
message for this year's
campaign was: Save Lives.
Think Safety Farm Safely.
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Group Ltd trading as FBD Insurance is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.
Farm Insurance is underwritten by FBD Insurance plc.
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