National Farm safety awareness day - 21st July 2014
Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney, TD, today added his support to the IFA National Farm Safety Awareness Day.
Minister Coveney said ‘I very much welcome this initiative by the IFA, supported by the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) which highlights the need for farmers to ‘farm safely’. This intitiative along with others such as the recent EMBRACE FARM service held in Abbeyleix on 29th June are very important in increasing awareness of the unacceptable level of farm accidents that occur every year within our industry and the need for continual awareness of farm safety.
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. One of the first steps in helping to achieve a safe farm is for farmers to adhere to the Farm Safety Code of practice and to review their Farm Risk Assessment.
“Farming continues to be the most dangerous occupation in Ireland, with an average of 20 fatalities per year over the past 4 years.” Already in 2014 there have been 13 fatalities on our farms of which 9 have involved tractors and machinery. The main causes of all fatalities are tractors/machinery and drowning. Last year alone, 16 people, including 4 children, died as a result of a farm accident. The Minister stated “A farmyard can seem like a playground to a child’s eyes particularly during the summer holiday months. However, children can’t be expected to anticipate the dangers of playing there. Therefore, parents need to see these dangers and set ground rules for children on farms’.
Farm safety is an ongoing issue and in is important that farmers think Safety First in all the tasks they perform, no matter the pressure. ‘I would like to commend the IFA and HSA and urge all farmers to fully embrace safe farming systems, the Minister added.