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National Seminar on Improving Occupational Health among Farmers in Ireland

Teagasc, in association with the Health and Safety Authority and University College Dublin, will hold a National Seminar on improving occupational health among farmers in Ireland. The event will take place in the Clanard Court Hotel, Athy, Co Kildare on the morning of Tuesday, 21 August followed in the afternoon by a seminar on Positive Mental Health of Farmers.

At the seminar, Ms Aoife Osborne, Teagasc Walsh Fellow, will reveal the findings of her 4-year research study on farmer occupational health. Ms Osborne will deal particularly with Musculoskeletal Disorders, or diseases of the skeletal and muscular systems, which are increasingly a major source of disability and incapacitation among farmers in Ireland and worldwide. One international study, for instance, estimates that farmers are one of the main users of hip replacements with 20 per cent of farmers requiring one in their lifetime.

Further presentations on occupational health of farmers will be provided by physiotherapists Dr Catherine Blake and Dr Caitriona Cunningham of the School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Performance Science at UCD.

Mr Patrick Griffin, Senior Inspector with the Health and Safety Authority (H.S.A.) will outline a risk assessment approach to preventing occupational ill health, while Mr John McNamara, Teagasc Health and Safety Officer, will outline the Teagasc programme in occupational health.

In the afternoon at 2.15 pm, a seminar on Positive Mental Health of Farmers will be held. Speakers will include Dr Anne Cleary, Department of Sociology at UCD who will outline the findings of a study of suicidal behaviour among men in rural areas, which is aimed at prevention. Ms Finola Colgan of Mental Health Ireland will speak on the topic of Positively Influencing Mental Health.

The two seminars take place at the Clanard Hotel, Athy, Co Kildare on Tuesday 21 August, commencing at 10am and 2.15pm. Both seminars are free of charge but booking is requested to Teagasc Naas (045-879203).