Teagasc urges farm safety in first quarter

Teagasc has urged farmers to make their own safety and that of their families a top priority in 2016.

The plea came after 17 people died on Irish farms in 2015, according to provisional figures.

There were 30 farm deaths the previous year.

Teagasc Health and Safety Officer Dr John McNamara called for particular vigilance in January as farm work increases during this month giving rise to increased risk.

January and March have about 9% and 12%, respectively, of annual fatal farm accidents, associated with high levels of work activity.

Dr McNamara said while each accident has individual factors, contact with machinery and equipment (41%), livestock incidents (24%) and falls from heights (18%) were the predominant associated causes in 2015.

He said up to €395m is available in the Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme (TAMS 2) funding up to the end of 2019.

A considerable number of measures are included which support making farms safer and more efficient workplaces.

“It is of the utmost importance that farmers examine ways to utilise the funding available in the context of their own farms,” he said.

Teagasc plans to hold half –day training courses countrywide during the spring. Booking can be made at any Teagasc office.

Dr McNamara said farm safety risk assessment documents should be reviewed by farmers early in 2016.

Identifying hazards and taking remedial action, combined with adopting safe behaviour, are the proven ways of cutting farm accident risk.


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