Farm Safety Event Planned For Next Week In Co. Cork

Teagasc, in association with the Health and Safety Authority (H.S.A.), will hold a practical Farm Safety half-day Event at Teagasc, Clonakilty Agricultural College, Co Cork next week Friday, November 3rd.

So far this year 20 people have lost their lives on Irish farms in tragic circumstances.

The most recent of these were the deaths of two men after suffering fatal injuries from repairs to damage caused by Hurricane Ophelia and Storm Brian.

A man in his mid 50’s died from severe head trauma after falling from a shed roof located outside of Clonakilty in west Cork.

A man in his mid 70’s is believed to have died from a fall, whilst working on his farm shed, in Co. Wicklow.

Eight farm deaths have occurred in relation to tractors, while four have occurred relating to quads.

Three deaths were associated with animals, two due to gas poisoning and one each with a fall from a height, soil collapse and drowning.

Health and Safety Officer John McNamara said that this farm safety event is planned to highlight key practical issues which will prevent fatal and serious farm accidents.

The event will also focus on planning to be ‘Winter Ready’ for adverse weather events, including electrical, building maintenance and use of chainsaws on farms.

In particular the farm safety event in Clonakilty will focus on the following farm safety issues:

  • Dangers associated with use of farm tractor and quads on farms. Persons being knocked down or crushed in and around farmyards is the most frequent causes of accidents. Tractor visibility issues and ensuring that vehicles are secured will be emphasised at the event.
  • New regulations now apply to the road use of tractors, trailers and implements. The Gardai will be on hand to give practical advice on the practical application of the new requirements.
  • Health and Safety Authority staff will be present to describe Farm Building Maintenance requirements, working a heights, safety with slurry and farm electrical safety.
  • Livestock safety, with particular reference to safety around calving time, will be demonstrated.
  • Practical aspects of chain sawing will be demonstrated including choice of chainsaw protective wear and chainsaw standards and maintenance. The H.S.A. guidelines, training requirements and limitations for tree felling will be outlined.

Patrick Griffin, H.S.A, Senior Inspector in the Operational Compliance and Prevention Division, will close the farm safety event by giving a short talk on practical strategies that farmers can take to prevent farm accidents and ill health.

All farmers are urged to attend the farm safety event. Mr McNamara said that farmer management of health and safety issues is the essential component of preventing farm accidents.

Short term behavioural actions are needed to secure safety. On a longer term basis, farms need to be managed to minimise risk. He stated that under the DAFM TAMS scheme considerable grant aid is available to implement health and safety improvement measures on farms.

The event is free of charge and is an approved DAFM Knowledge Transfer event for sheep, beef, dairy and tillage farmers. Registration takes place from 9.45am to 10.30am and the event will conclude at 1 pm.

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