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International Meeting on Farm Health and Safety to take place in Ireland

Teagasc and the Health and Safety Authority have announced that they will co-host an International meeting on Agricultural Occupational Safety and Health during 2011. The event will take place in Dublin in August and includes visits to farms and Teagasc centres.

The event will be attended by health and safety officers, advisers, farm leaders and researchers from participating countries. Delegates will be attending from many European countries including Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland and from North America.

Teagasc Health and Safety Officer, John McNamara, co-organiser of the event said: “The event has been organised because of considerable interest in the Irish approach to farm health and safety which involves the use of a legal Code of Practice approach backed up by training, advice and applied research. The Irish approach has been developed through partnership between state and farming organisations.”

John McNamara said that the high level of interaction taking place in Ireland between farmers and Teagasc trainers and advisers on health and safety issues has attracted international interest. This social interaction is seen internationally as the crucial driver of long-term progress with both farm management and health and safety, he added.

Patrick Griffin, Senior Inspector with the Health and Safety Authority with responsibility for the Agriculture sector and co-organiser of the Irish meeting stated that 2010 was a tragic year on Irish farms when 25 workplace deaths took place. The Irish meeting will be a valuable opportunity to exchange new knowledge on strategies to gain farmer ‘buy-in’ to practical farm health and safety management both in Ireland and abroad to cut the toll of human tragedy associated with accidents and ill health.

John McNamara also stated that as the Teagasc programme of half-day Health and Safety courses had been hampered by the inclement weather during December 2010. Further courses have been arranged for the January to March period. Further information can be obtained from Teagasc offices.


Pictured at the 2010 Nordic Meeting on Agricultural Safety and Health where it was agreed to hold an Irish Meeting in 2011: Second from left: Mr Lars Peder Brekk, Norwegian Minister for Agriculture and Food with L to R: John McNamara, Teagasc, Mr Ole Brunes, Director Norwegian Farm H&S Service and Mr Patrick Griffin, H.S.A.