Safety messages issued for farmers and fishermen to avoid tragedies

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Simon Coveney has issued seasonal safety messages for farmers and fishermen.

For the third year running, farmers will receive a farm safety message in the post with their Single Payment Scheme farm maps. Child safety gets a special focus.

From 2000 to 2010, 27 children died following a farm accident. The main causes of child fatalities are tractors, machinery and drowning. In 2013, four children died.

“A farmyard can seem like a playground to a child’s eyes. However, children can’t be expected to anticipate the dangers of playing there. Therefore, parents need to see these dangers and set ground rules for children on farms,” said Mr Coveney.

This year, the Health And Safety Authority plans to conduct 2,900 farm inspections. The focus will be on tractor and machinery safety, animal handling, slurry handling, child and elderly safety, and chainsaw safety in forestry inspections.

Mr Coveney also offered his support to BIM’s safety message at the launch of the Irish Skipper Expo in Galway. The fisheries board’s Enhanced Safety Programme aims to reduce the 35 fishing-related fatalities recorded from 2007-2012.

The event provides skipper and crews of registered fishing vessels with on-going training in personal survival techniques, first aid, fire fighting, and health and safety in the workplace to help save lives at sea.

Michael Keatinge, BIM’s director of fisheries and training development, said: “We will provide safety training courses for up to 800 fishermen on 60 courses at 14 locations around out coast this year.

“Grant-aid will be provided for up to 600 personal flotation devices with fitted personal locator beacons and safety notices encouraging fishermen to wear their personal flotation devices and complete their training will be placed at 50 locations around our coast.”

Meanwhile, Minister Coveney also oversaw the signing of a contract with Sioen, the Gweedore-based manufacturers of the Mullion compact 150N lifejacket, with the integrated personal locator beacon.

The minister urged fishermen and fish-farmers to sign up for the BIM training as a matter of urgency. He said Sioen’s locator beacon can help save fishermen’s lives.

“We now have the resources available through BIM’s safety training and this lifejacket with an integrated personal locator beacon to minimise lives lost at sea.”

We needed to do all in our power to minimise risk or in the case of an accident, to have the best equipment, he said.

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