Farmers need to be reminded to think “am I doing enough” to ensure there are no accidents on their own farm – that’s according to Michael Creed, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
“It is through farmers taking individual action that the number of farm accidents will be reduced,” he commented.
Adding his support to the annual Farm Safety Week – which is being run in Ireland by the IFA – the Minister said: “It is important that every organisation involved in agriculture continually raises the need for farmers to farm safely”.
“Great care is required to ensure that tragic accidents do not occur,” he added.
Creed said that one of the first steps in helping to achieve a safe farm is for farmers to adhere to the Farm Safety Code of practice and to review their Farm Risk Assessment.
“While there are many risks in farming, farming does not have to be a dangerous occupation.”
“Behavioural change is what is required to prevent many accidents. It is a case of being aware of the dangers and taking the time to do what is necessary to minimise the risk.”
“There are plenty of ways to reduce the danger, without spending huge money. The first of these is to complete a Farm Risk Assessment”.
He noted that it is important that all farming organisations encourage farmers to change their behaviours in relation to farm safety.
12 fatal farm accidents
To date this year, there has been 12 fatal farm accidents on Irish farms. These 12 fatal farm accidents account for over 40% of all fatal work accidents so far in 2019, while farming accounts for less than 6% of the workforce.
“No individual action or organisation that can solve this difficult problem that impacts so negatively on so many lives each year.”
“We must all work together with the single goal of preventing farm accidents and therefore saving lives and minimising serious injuries,” Creed concluded.