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Farm Workshop Safety publication welcomed by Minister Martin Heydon TD

The Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine with special responsibility for Farm Safety, Martin Heydon T.D., has welcomed the recent re - publication of the Teagasc booklet ‘Farm Workshop Safety – Key Management Practices’ on a visit to Teagasc‘s Kildalton College.

The Minister stated “Workshops are essential on most farms but there are a range of hazards associated with them. It is therefore vital that controls are put in place to prevent injury or ill health. A tidy, organised workshop with well-maintained equipment and tools is not only more efficient, but safer too.”  

The workshop safety booklet gives practical advice and tips on organising the farm workshop and adopting safe work practices to manage the range of hazards in farm workshops. Minister Heydon added ‘The workshop safety booklet complements the video on managing farm workshop safety which I recently launched as part of the Managing Farm Safety video series made by Teagasc, FBD Insurance and the HSA”.

Minister Heydon TD with Teagasc staff  Francis Quigley and John McNamara

Minister Heydon T.D, with Teagasc staff  Francis Quigley (left) and John McNamara (right).

Dr John McNamara, Teagasc Health and Safety Specialist, co-author of the Workshop Safety Booklet  stated  that the booklet is designed to give the necessary  information   to  complete  a  risk assessment before conducting hazardous workshop  tasks  or when doing machinery  repairs or maintenance in the farm.

He pointed out, however , that information must be followed by appropriate action to prevent injury.   An ESRI study has shown that farmers who do not use safety equipment have a 49% higher injury risk. The booklet includes an Action Check list to motivate safety adoption of effective prevention measures.

Mr Francis Quigley, Teagasc  Farm Machinery and Milking Machine Specialist and booklet co-author,  stated that a farm  workshop  needs to  be  well constructed organised to give a safe working environment.  However, when working away from a workshop, doing repairs and maintenance safety also needs to be given top priority, for example pumping tyres or using battery jump leads.

Health is given a major focus in the Workshop Safety Booklet as many substances used in workshops and the by-products of workshop processes such as welding fumes have the potential to cause permanent ill health if not adequately controlled.  Conditions that can arise include irritant or allergic dermatitis, respiratory sensitisation, neural effects or cancers.

The booklet gives focused guidance related to workshop hazards along with a comprehensive checklist to assist with managing risks in a workshop or where repairs are being carried out. The Booklet is available at Teagasc offices or can be downloaded at https://www.teagasc.ie/publications/2020/farm-workshop-safety.php

Information on Farm Health and Safety is available at the following websites: