Although everyone’s main concern at this time is protecting themselves from Covid-19, the importance of farm safety remains paramount.
Teagasc Mayo have released a video discussing the things you need to consider on your farm to keep it safe during this pandemic.
Health and Safety Co-ordinator and Westport based drystock advisor Jacinta O’Neill discusses the importance of making sure the safety of children is not compromised on the farm during this period.
“Now that they’re at home all the time it is more important than ever to think safe in simple and practical ways. Don’t let your farm become a playground. Children should have a separate and safe play area. There should be no unsupervised visits down to the farm.”
“Don’t try to multitask looking after your children and your farm work. It’s impossible to do both things well at the same time so don’t take any unnecessary risk.”
The elderly or people with an underlying health condition are in the high-risk category with regards to the coronavirus. O’Neill says that these people, especially those living alone, are anxious about the risks of going out.
She says “It’s important that we stay in touch. Phone contact is so valuable at this time. It will help keep us connected socially and provide the help and support to those that need it. When you go to the chemist, the supermarket or the co-op please remember relatives and neighbours that might need something or even just a phone call.”
Visitors to your farm
The drystock advisor says that farmers must be organised with coronavirus in mind when essential farm visits are taking place from the likes of vets or delivery drivers for example.
“Use precautions such as gloves, sanitizers or whatever disinfectants you have. Explain to the visitors that they must use them. They should have no complaints as it is in their interest as well as yours.”
If the farmer does become ill, there will need to be someone else nominated to carry out the farm work in their absence. Should this occur, O’Neill advises that you should “picture that farmer in your shoes and how your farm shouldn’t pose any unexpected risk to that person.
“Have a safe system of work in place, be organised, keep your place tidy and help avoid any unnecessary slips, trips, falls or worse. Look through your code of practice, this will remind you of practical ways to keep your farm safe.”
She concluded by saying “our work now will help towards a safer future.”