Farm Safety Live
Think farm safety when approaching tractors, quads, and machinery and before handling livestock in a bid to improve farm safety.
That is the key message organisers of Farm Safety Live hope to convey at this year’s Tullamore Show on Sunday, August 14th, 2022.
The initiative is the brainchild of FRS Training, HSA and FBD Insurance in conjunction with the Tullamore Show.
The interactive farm safety demonstrations aim to “get people thinking more about safety on the farm”, giving them practical tips and actions to take home.
Minister Martin Heydon, Minister of State with special responsibility for farm safety, and Minister Charlie McConalogue, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, will perform the official launch at 10.30 am.
Organisers will demonstrate and discuss practical tips that farmers can apply to their enterprises daily and invite everyone to take part in the interactive displays throughout the day.
The agricultural sector is still the most dangerous working environment in Ireland reporting the highest number of fatalities each year.
The HSA reports that over the last ten years, 197 people lost their lives due to a farm accident.
- 87 involved vehicles;
- 16 involved machinery;
- 38 related to livestock.
Young and elderly people tended to be the main victims.
Chelsey Cox McDonald, secretary of Tullamore Show, said:
“We were delighted to have Farm Safety Live return this year. It is so vital and important to showcase this aspect as part of the show programme.”
“We would ask everyone to think about farm safety and eliminate the risks where possible.”
“It is heartbreaking to comprehend the number of families impacted each year by farm tragedies.”
Risk-averse culture on farms
Peter Slattery, FRS Training, added: “Demonstrations provide a proven way to influence people’s behaviours.”
“Actively observing routine farm practices allows farm family members to stand back and see the devastating consequences of some common actions when things go wrong.”
Each year, he added, a new generation is exposed to the ever-present risks on family farms.
He is of the view that continuously highlighting the dangers, together with providing training aimed at developing a risk-averse culture on farms, is “essential.”.
“The Tullamore Show is a great way to maintain a focus on these key messages as large numbers of farm families will attend the event,” he concluded.
Good handbrake on tractors
Furthermore, Pat Griffin, HSA, added that tractors, quads, and other farm vehicles are involved in the vast majority of farm fatalities.
He said that it is appropriate that organisers will focus on farm vehicle safety in the demo area at Farm Safety Live.
He commented: “People and large farm vehicles are a potentially deadly mix.”
“Every effort should be made to keep everyone, particularly vulnerable people, away from work activities involving tractors and large farm vehicles.”
“Also, a good handbrake on your tractor is critically important. I ask all farmers to pledge to ensure the handbrake is working and it is properly applied.”
“Working together, we can make farming a safer business and protect ourselves and our loved ones”.
Break the cycle of risk-taking behaviour
Lastly, Ciaran Roche, Risk Manager, FBD Insurance, said that the continuing high numbers of serious and fatal accidents in the agricultural sector are a “cause for serious concern”.
He believes that now is the time to challenge ourselves to work more safely and to stop taking risks.
“All stakeholders need to work together as a farming community to break the cycle of risk-taking behaviour.”
“If we can create a positive safety culture on farms, behavioural change and safer farming practices will follow.”
“At FBD Insurance, we are pleased to see the question of farm safety being acknowledged at the Tullamore Show.”
“We urge farmers to visit Farm Safety Live at the Tullamore Show and to always Think Farm Safety,” he concluded.
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