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New updated farm safety code unveiled by HSA

The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) has issued its first update the Farm Safety Code of Practice in over 10 years.

The revised version of the “Code of Practice for Preventing Injury and Occupational Ill-Health in Agriculture” was launched on Thursday and comes into effect from Saturday 1 July.

The original code, first published in 2006, consisted of a general guidance document, a risk assessment document, a Safe System of Work Plan (SSWP) document and a DVD.

The revised code now comprises of just two documents – a general guidance document and a working risk assessment document – and it performs the same function as the original, the HSA explained.

The HSA says the new version “has been developed to reflect technical progress in the sector, changes in farming practice, equipment and accident trends”.

One of the biggest changes to the 2017 version is the inclusion of specific sections for slurry handling and harvesting.

There are updated references to legislation and guidance, updated imagery and a section on how to understand and use new chemical symbols. There are also new recommendations and approaches to farm building maintenance.

These are to reflect specific dangers on the farms.

Farming continues to be the most dangerous occupation in Ireland, with machinery accounting for over 60{b28040870e2dde01f25bc5b483275391226143b34751c4bb8f1feeecaec925a1} of all farm deaths last year.

HSA chief executive Martin O’Halloran said the code of practice is a key aspect of farm safety.

“The farm safety code of practice is the cornerstone of farm safety, health and wellbeing so when we set out to revise it we wanted to make it more reflective of modern farming. We also wanted to make it easier for farmers to use. The revised code focuses in on the most common hazards and provides workable solutions that can be put in place with minimal to zero cost.”

The new code of practice can be found at hsa.ie

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