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Doyle welcomes Forestry Safety Seminar

Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine with responsibility for forestry, Andrew Doyle, T.D., has welcomed the Forestry Safety Seminar being held by the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) at the Teagasc Office, Mellows Campus, Athenry, Co. Galway today.

Commenting on the Seminar, the Minister of State said, “I am very aware of the key role that the HSA plays in the provision of information and advice across all sectors, including fishing, construction, agriculture and forestry. This timely seminar serves as an opportunity for those involved in the felling and harvesting of trees to fully appreciate the range of challenges and hazards involved and to gain an insight and understanding of safe practices.”

Minister of State Doyle added that ‘Health & Safety in forest management’ is one of the mandatory subjects to be covered by the Forestry Knowledge Transfer Groups which are currently being formed. He also welcomed the publication by the HSA of ten new forestry safety guidance leaflets on topics ranging from ‘Using Petrol Driven Chainsaws’ to ‘Mechanical Harvesting’.

Noting that people working in the forestry sector are exposed to several safety and health hazards, including handling of heavy loads, working outdoors in a challenging environment, felling trees using chainsaws and lone working, Minister of State Doyle urged all those working in the forestry sector to take all necessary precautions and to avail of the information and advice provided by the HSA and forestry groups. He concluded by saying “While the development of forestry in Ireland is our objective, the health and safety of everyone involved in, and associated with, the sector is paramount. It is vital that we do all we can to prevent accidents in our workplace, which in this case is the forest and its environs.”