#Openyoureyestofarmsafety began with a pioneering initiative from a group of students and their teachers at Nenagh CBS in North Tipperary.
From a community, who have been deeply and personally impacted by farm accidents, five students, Patrick Fogarty, Jack Gleeson, Michael Ryan, Paul Seymour, and Patrick Quigley, embarked on a mission to change the culture of farm safety.
The transition year students, helped by their teacher Paul Butler, put together a practical video to show risks involved in farming and to farm more safely. The video tries to encourage people to be more aware of the risks associated with farming.
The campaign consisted of their farm safety tractor run in aid of Embrace FARM and a farm safety public meeting.
The students and teachers of St. Joseph’s CBS Nenagh began their farm safety campaign after Peter Gohery, farm accident survivor, gave his annual passionate presentation to the students about his own farm accident which left him with an amputated leg after he lost a limb in a PTO accident.
The students, with the school’s support, decided to hold a tractor run in aid of Embrace FARM and raised €7,000.
Video dedicated to 15-year-old farm accident victim
Paul Butler, said: “We had quite a number of farm accidents in North Tipperary over the years and number of them are linked with students in our school.”
“A fifteen-year-old boy was killed on a farm that was close friends to Paul Seymour one of the five boys involved in our farm safety campaign he also had a cousin in the school.”
Seeing first-hand the impact it had on the students was enough for Butler to help them in any way possible, to help minimise farm accidents accruing in the area in the future. “This death was a driving factor in the whole farm safety campaign, and we dedicated the video to him.”
“From the start, we had planned to create a farm safety video to simply help save lives. The video itself has an aware farmer – unaware farmer theme running through it.”
“The unaware farmer would be close to having an accident and the aware chap would come in the show him the safe way to carry out the task.”
“We wanted the scenes to look dangerous so as the viewer could identify the risks before the aware farmer comes in to save the life of the unaware farmer,”
Hits on all on-farm risks
Butler said the 13-minute video, which is in line with the Health and Safety Authority’s farm safety code of practice risk assessment document, hits on virtually all the risk on a farm.
“We feel it is quite a practical video and we tried to capture the authenticity of a normal everyday Irish farm and the risk that are there. I accompanied the students on to different farms and made sure the videos were all safely completed.”
“The five boys have been unbelievable throughout the campaign and have made farm safety ‘cool’ in our school and are hopeful this can spread to the wider community. They went on to win the Garda Youth award for their contribution to farm safety.”
“The lads were thankful to principal, Karen O’ Donnell, and vice-principal, Dermot Brislane for, giving them the opportunity to run with the idea and showed their gratitude to Michele Ford, Paul Dolan and I.”
Competition with €5,000 prize fund
The Irish Farmers’ Association has come on board to give its support and solidarity to this initiative.
In conjunction with Nenagh CBS, IFA, Embrace FARM and the H.S.A, a competition is being run for people to answer a few questions after watching the video. IFA has made €5,000 available for this competition.
IFA president, Tim Cullinan said, “I commend the young people involved for this initiative. As farmers, we have to take the lead in addressing this issue and educating ourselves and our families about the dangers that exist on farms.”
“IFA is committed to raising awareness about the need for farmers to take safety seriously. Any initiative that helps to do this is welcome and will be supported by our association.”
With the busy summer farming season upon everyone, the competition will run until Friday, 24th July to coincide with Farm Safety Week.
Peter Gohery of Embrace FARM encourages everyone to watch the video and enter this competition. ‘I know this can be hard viewing for anyone who has lost a loved one to a farm accident as some of the scenes can be re-enacted in this video.”
“But I am appealing to all farm families young and old to watch this video. Sit down and watch it with the whole family. Where will you get €500 euro for 15 minutes of your time if you win? Every member of the family can enter the draw.’
People can enter the competition by answering the questions on this link here.
All fully correct answers will only be accepted as entries the competition. Ten names will be picked at random from all correct entries submitted by July 24th, 2020 by representatives supporting this competition.
Follow – @thatsfarming.com – on Snapchat tomorrow (Friday, July 23rd) for part-two of their takeover.
Photo captured pre-Covid