Farm Machinery Safety Awareness Campaign Launched

Apr 5, 2024 | News

Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Martin Heydon T.D., alongside Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Neale Richmond T.D., have launched a farm safety awareness initiative, focusing specifically on the safe use of farm vehicles and machinery.

This collaborative effort, backed by both the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) and the Health and Safety Authority (HSA), aims to advocate for improved farm safety practices and instigate behavioural changes concerning the operation of farm vehicles and machinery.

Over the past decade, there have been 191 fatalities in farm-related incidents, with a staggering 96 of those fatalities involving farm vehicles and machinery. Of particular concern is the fact that 16 out of 17 child fatalities within the same timeframe were linked to accidents involving farm vehicles and machinery. The Teagasc National Farm Survey for 020 indicates that approximately 11% of the 4,500 non-fatal incidents on Irish farms annually are related to farm vehicles and machinery, with some incidents resulting in severe, life-altering injuries.

Minister Heydon stressed the urgency of the situation, especially as tractor activity typically increases in the coming weeks due to agricultural demands. He emphasised the need to significantly reduce the alarmingly high number of fatalities associated with farm vehicles and machinery. Minister Richmond echoed these responses, emphasising the responsibility of farmers to prioritise safety measures to protect themselves, their families, and their communities. Both Ministers urged farmers to avoid taking unnecessary risks and to prioritise safety over expediency.

Conor O’Brien, CEO of the Health Safety Authority, highlighted that farm machinery and tractors are the primary culprits behind fatalities and injuries on farms. He emphasised the importance of regular maintenance and ensuring that only trained individuals operate farm machinery. O’Brien also announced a forthcoming nationwide farm inspection blitz by HSA inspectors to provide support and guidance to farmers in addressing safety concerns.

For more information about the campaign, click here.


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