€417,000 to be allocated to farm safety initiatives in 2017

The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) is currently finalising its budgets for various sectoral activities for 2017.

The HSA estimates that it will spend €417,000 on farm safety initiatives in 2017, maintaining funding at 2016 levels.

The HSA estimates were revealed by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor in a response to a parliamentary question from Fianna Fail TD Charlie McConalogue.

“The HSA has assured me that the budget for farm safety initiatives will, at a minimum, be maintained at the same level as that for 2016,” the minister said.

“The Authority has also indicated that in light of the continuing high level of fatalities in the farming sector further funding, if required, can be provided for farm safety initiatives in 2017 once the overall budget is finalised.”

Minister Mitchell O’Connor also revealed that she has met recently with the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed.

During this meeting the minister discussed the issue of farm safety and explored how both their Departments and the HSA can work more closely together to improve this situation in relation to farm safety, she added.

There were 21 fatalities on Irish farms in 2016 with one recorded fatality so far in 2017. Agriculture remains the highest sector for workplace fatalities, and farm safety continues to be a very high priority for the HSA, reflected by the level of resources being assigned by the HSA to that sector.

Highlighting further cause for concern is the fact that workplace fatalities fell by 21{b28040870e2dde01f25bc5b483275391226143b34751c4bb8f1feeecaec925a1} across all sectors in 2016, with 12 fewer people losing their lives when compared to the year before.

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