A Minute’s Silence will be observed at All Marts Nationwide this week, as a way to press home the need for better safety on farms.
The minute's silence is being observed as a way to remember loved ones, lost in farm accidents. It is also aimed at promoting safety awareness to further ignite a continuing commitment to farm safety among the farming community, the Irish Co-operative Organisation Society (ICOS) has announced.
National Marts Farm Safety Awareness and Remembrance Day is supported by ICOS, The Association of Livestock Marts, FBD, the Health and Safety Authority, the Farm Safety Partnership and Embrace, the farm accident support network.
The day will see a speech from each Mart Manager at 1.00 pm and afterward the minute’s Silence will then be observed.
Michael Spellman, Chairman, ICOS National Marts, said the farming world is a challenging one, especially livestock farming. He mentioned the many ongoing risks farmers face on the daily.
“Livestock farming is a challenging and labour intensive enterprise at the best of times. It is physically demanding and it carries associated safety risks due to the requirements to manage and control animals which requires a careful approach and the need to be alert to danger at all times. There are also serious ongoing risks from machinery and equipment”, he said.
He said we all need to ensure that we reduce the safety risks which exist on farms.
“Farmers undertake their tasks professionally day in and day out so it is sometimes understandably the case that a routine can take hold. What we all have to ensure is that the daily routine on every farm is actively reducing and eliminating the safety risks that exist.”, he added.
Mr. Spellman called on farmers to manage their health and safety practices on their farms, saying safety must not be left to chance.
“Staying safe on the farm requires vigilance and prevention. Keeping yourself, your family and your workers safe must become a key part of the daily routine for every farmer because one injury or one life lost, is one too many, and none of us ever want that kind of tragedy visited upon us.”, he said.
“Safety must not be left to chance, farmers need to manage health and safety on their farm and effectively plan work activities. This planning must include planned safety maintenance on farm tractors machinery, equipment, facilities and time management.”, he continued.
Michael Spellman also took time to express sympathy and solidarity on behalf of the co-operative livestock farming community to the families of 197 people, including children, who were killed in farming accidents between 2007 and 2016. 22 people have already lost their lives this year in farming accidents, with two more accidents over the weekend.
“Every fatal farm accident has a devastating effect on that person’s family, friends and the wider farming community. Through this week’s campaign, and on an ongoing basis, we are asking farmers to identify where they can reduce the risks on their farms and if in any doubt, to seek advice on how best to do so.”, Spellman said.
“The high number of serious and fatal accidents is a cause for great concern. Changing unsafe working behavior is the key to sustaining a reduction in the number of serious and fatal accidents on farms., he added.
He called for a special focus to be put on farmers over the age of 65, as they make up over 50% of these fatal accidents.
“A special focus needs be given to farmers 65 and over as they generally represent over 50% of the fatal accident on Irish farms. The physical capabilities of older farmers vary by individual. While some people maintain good strength, flexibility, eyesight, and hearing well beyond age 65, others do not.”, he said.
“The key is the ability of the older farmer and their families to recognize age-related risk factors, as well as the willingness to modify expectations and physical activity accordingly....Tractors, machinery, and livestock are the main causes of farm fatalities and with this in mind, we would ask that extra precautions are always taken when working with or near tractors, machinery and livestock.”, Spellman said.
He concluded by asking all farmers to reaffirm their commitment to staying safe on farms and called on farmers to ask for help when they need it and to stop taking unnecessary risks.
“We are asking all farmers to redouble their commitment to farm safety, ask for help if needed and to stop taking risks,” he concluded.
Details of all the ICOS marts taking part in the day are listed below.
Athenry Co-op Livestock Mart Ltd.
East Donegal Co-op Livestock Mart Ltd
Kanturk Co-op Mart Ltd
Kenmare Livestock Mart Co-op Society Ltd
Ballyjamesduff Co-op Livestock Mart Ltd
Mid-Kerry Co-op Livestock Mart Ltd
Castleisland Co-op Livestock Mart Ltd
Mayo/Sligo Co-op Livestock Mart
Leinster Co-operative Marts Ltd
Templemore Co-op Livestock Mart Ltd
Tuam Co-op Livestock Mart Ltd
Ballinasloe Co-operative Livestock Mart Ltd
Clare Marts Ltd
Mid-Tipperary Co-op Livestock Mart Ltd
Central Auction Services Co-operative Society Ltd
Iveragh Farmers’ Co-op Mart Ltd
Kilkenny Co-op Livestock Market Ltd
Roscommon Co-op Livestock Mart Ltd
Dingle Co-op Livestock Mart Ltd
Castlerea Co-op Livestock Mart Ltd
Inishowen Co-operative Society Ltd
Kingdom Co-op Livestock Mart Ltd
Castleisland Co-op Livestock Mart Ltd
Waterford-Ross Co-op Marts Ltd
Cork Co-op Marts Ltd
2A Market House
Wexford Farmers Co-op Society Ltd.
Old Dublin Road
Elphin Co-operative Mart