A new farm safety conference titled “Safeguarding the Future of Farming” is being held at Lyons Research Farm in Co Kildare today as a means of highlighting the route causes of farm accidents and how they can be prevented.
Hosted by FBD Insurance and the Health and Safety Authority (HSA), the conference aims to increase awareness of the unacceptable level of farm accidents that occur every year within the agricultural sector.
An emphasis on the need for continual awareness of farm safety is also being presented.
Minister of State for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Andrew Doyle today opened the conference.
Minister Doyle said:
“It is important to see people from all parts of the agricultural sector here today to work together in raising awareness of the tragic and difficult issue of farm safety. No individual action or organisation can solve this difficult problem that impacts so negatively on so many lives each year.
“While there are many risks in farming, farming does not have to be a dangerous occupation. Behavioural change is what is required to prevent many accidents. It is a case of being aware of the dangers and taking the time to do what is necessary to minimise the risk.”
A spokersperson on behalf of the Department of Agriculture added:
“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.”
It is important that all agriculture related organisations encourage farmers to change their behaviours in relation to farm safety.
To date this year there have been four fatal farm accidents on Irish farms. These four fatal farm accidents account for over forty percent of all fatal work accidents so far in 2018, while farming accounts for less than six percent of the workforce.
Farm safety is an ongoing issue and in is important that farmers think about safety first in all the tasks they perform, no matter the pressure.
Minister Doyle concluded:
“We must all work together with the single goal of preventing farm accidents and therefore saving lives and minimising serious injuries. I would like to urge all farmers to fully embrace safe farming systems.”