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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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‘The majority of farm fatalities/injuries on farms are avoidable’

All things farm safety, health, and wellbeing were the focus of Farmers4Safety’s – Managing Risk Together EIP-AGRI Project – farm talk in Ballynoe, Co. Cork on Tuesday, September 27th, 2022.

Farmers4Safety adopts a ‘peer to peer’ mentoring approach that investigates farmers, and farm families’ behaviours and attitudes towards farm safety, health and well-being.

It aims to change the norm around farm safety and emotional well-being so it becomes a “normal and sustained” part of farming culture in Ireland while making the sector safer for those who live, work and visit farms.

By utilising a peer-to-peer mentoring approach, it will effectively engage farmers on the ground and be “the catalyst” to change the social norms surrounding farm safety, health and wellbeing.

The following bodies are carrying out this piloted project in their catchment areas:

  • Irish Rural Link (IRL);
  • BRIDE (Biodiversity Regeneration in a Dairying Environment) project;
  • The Duncannon Blue Flag Farming & Communities Scheme;
  • New Futures Farming Group;
  • Health and Safety Authority.
Farm accidents

A spokesperson said:

“The majority of farm fatalities/injuries on farms are avoidable, and this project will highlight the importance of farm safety, health and well-being on family farms.”

“Extreme pressures within the agriculture sector have led to farmers experiencing stress, anxiety, fatigue and financial pressures, and this, in turn, can lead to an incident/fatality occurring.”

This Farm Safety EIP AGRI project indicates the importance of farmers looking after their own health and well-being and ensuring they are not risking their safety in carrying out jobs on the farm.

Niamh Nolan, project manager, said the event highlighted the “diverse” safety measures that farmers can take on farms to “make it a safer place” for them but also their family, friends and employees.

It also highlighted the importance of looking after their health and well-being to complete jobs on the farm.

Dangers on farms 

Seamus Boland, CEO of Irish Rural Link, said that farm safety continues to be a “real issue” on many family farms across the country.

“Talks like this one held in Cork are so important to highlight the dangers that are on the farm and to make farmers and their families more aware and be conscious of the dangers they face in their work on a daily basis.”

“We need to keep the conversation going on farm safety to reduce the number of farm accidents and fatalities.

Farmers4Safety – Managing Risk Together EIP AGRI Project will positively impact farm families by adopting actions that will prevent ill health, loss of life and injuries on farms.

It will also highlight a change in attitudes of partners and those who visit the farm (e.g. vets, scanners, advisors, AI technicians etc.) by altering their behaviour towards farm safety, health and well-being.

It hopes that changes in attitudes and behaviours will influence this generation of farmers and the next by embedding farm safety and emotional well-being within their daily routine on the farm.

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