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Ciaran Roche
FBD Risk Manager

Farm Safety Live

Ciaran Roche, Risk Manager at FBD, highlights the return of the ‘Farm Safety Live’ demonstration arena to the Tullamore Show

farm safety aug2023

Pictured at the launch of Farm Safety Live: Ciaran Roche, FBD Insurance; Joe Molloy, Tullamore Show; Pat Griffin, HSA; Jane Marks, FRS.

The ‘Farm Safety Live’ demonstration arena is making a return to the Tullamore Show & FBD National Livestock Show on Sunday, August 13, 2023. 

FBD Insurance is delighted to be continuing our partnership with Farm Relief Services (FRS), the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) and the Tullamore Show committee to bring Farm Safety Live’s interactive farm safety demonstrations to the show for the eighth year. With quad bike/all-terrain vehicle (ATV) training set to become mandatory in November 2023, safe use of this important work vehicle will be front and centre at this year’s Farm Safety Live demonstrations. 

In addition to quads, the Farm Safety Live demonstrations will also focus on safe operation of tractors and handling livestock. Practical tips that can be applied on the farm will be discussed and demonstrated by farm safety experts throughout the day. In this article, I am going to look at some key safety points to keep in mind around these topics. 

Safe quad operation – key steps

New quad-bike regulations require that quad-bike operators in all workplaces must have successfully completed a quad bike training course provided by a registered training provider to a QQI Standard or equivalent. Additionally, all operators must wear appropriate head protection while operating a quad or ATV. Visitors to the Farm Safety Live demonstrations will find out all the information they need to know to be compliant with these new regulations.

  • Quad-bike training is vital.
  • Head protection is critically important while operating a quad. Helmets significantly reduce the number and severity of serious head injuries.
  • Don’t overload the quad or trailed implement.
  • When towing implements, ensure that you are complying with the manufacturers’ specification for weight and size.
  • Safety checks and maintenance are key. It is essential that tyre pressures are checked regularly, and servicing should be undertaken in accordance with manufacturers’ guidelines.
  • Never carry a passenger on a quad bike.
  • Remove keys and keep in safe place away from children. 

Safe handling of livestock – key steps 

  • Always be vigilant and aware of the risks. 
  • Watch for warning signs of animal aggressiveness, especially in bulls and newly calved cows.
  • Cull fractious and difficult bulls/cows as soon as possible.
  • Ensure bulls are fitted with a nose ring and chain.
  • Always use safe-handling facilities.
  • Always have an escape route for emergency situations while working with animals.

Safe tractor operation – key steps

  • Always maintain tractors in good condition, in particular the brakes, lights, mirrors and wipers. Special attention must be given to ensure that all brakes are serviced on tractors. Fatalities have occurred due to brakes not working effectively.
  • Ensure that all controls are maintained in good working order and clearly marked.
  • Make sure all moving parts, including the PTO shaft, for example, are guarded properly
  • Ensure that a cab or safety frame is fitted.
  • Only allow competent, experienced people to operate tractors.
  • Avoid rushing and always be vigilant.
  • Always park the tractor safely and remove the keys.

Always be aware of blind spots 

Tractors are not a babysitting aid. The Code of Practice on Preventing Accidents to Children and Young Persons in Agriculture says that a child must be at least seven years of age before they are allowed to sit in a tractor and only then provided there is a properly fitted passenger seat, with a seat belt, inside a safety cab or frame.

FBD Insurance is proud to partner with FBD Trust to support safe farming practices and, as such, we are proud to be supporting Farm Safety Live and to see the question of farm safety being acknowledged at the Tullamore Show. We urge visitors to the show to visit the Farm Safety Live demonstrations at stand L100. We look forward to seeing you there.

Remember, always think farm safety.