Preventing harm on the farm

Transition year students from the Beara Community School in West Cork are raising awareness of farm safety.

Beara transition year student Fintan Harrington explains.

“We started in September 2012, with the idea having initially come from student Joe Harrington.

“He also thought up the name, ‘Prevent harm on the farm’.

“We are all from farming backgrounds, from the areas of Garnish, Allihies, Cahermore, Adrigole, Urhan and Ardgroom.

“And many of us would have had minor incidents on farms, such as pucks from a cow, or scrapes to an arm or a leg.”

All minor incidents, but at the same time making them well aware of the potential dangers.

“We found that the most dangerous aspects of farming were slurry, machinery and animals.

“And through our research, we have discovered that the most dangerous months are July and October, the most dangerous day is Saturday, and the most dangerous time for accidents is between 7pm and 11 pm.”

To get their message to farmers, the group set up a Facebook page ‘Prevent harm on the farm,’ which has proved a very popular site. On this page, they suggest daily checks and preventative steps on farms, to avoid accidents. Also, the page has links to other farm safety sites.

They have produced an information booklet, organised art competitions for schools, and have a power-point presentation available for interested groups such as IFA, Macra, ICA, etc.

The ‘Prevent harm on the farm’ group comprises Fintan Harrington, Cárthaigh O’Driscoll, Conor O’Neill, Aidan Irwin, Conor O’Shea, Joe Doyle, Anthony O’Shea, Kevin O’Sullivan, Andrew O’Neill, Donal Óg Harrington. Helping them with their project is teacher Marie Murphy. They have also received help and guidance from the Central Statistics Office, Teagasc, the HSE and the Department of Agriculture.

Their project is part of the Young Social Innovators programme, which encourages young people to identify social issues.

Sister Stanislaus Kennedy and Rachel Collier were the co-founders of this programme in the early 1980s.

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