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Farm Safety Training a Priority

Farm Safety Training a Priority
Launching the Teagasc half day training courses on the revised Farm Safety Code of Practice were Francis Bligh, Health and Safety Specialist, Teagasc; Tom Kelly, Director of Knowledge Transfer, Teagasc; Pat Breen, TD, Minister of State for Trade, Employment and Business and Pat Griffin, Senior Inspector with the Health and Safety Authority.

Teagasc and the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) have launched the 2019-2020 schedule for half-day training on the revised ‘Farm Safety Code of Practice’. The launch took place at the HSA Stand at the National Ploughing Championships, today Tuesday 17 September, in Co Carlow. The training will be hosted at Teagasc Centres across the country over the next number of months and is open to Teagasc clients and non-clients alike.

Compliance with the legal requirement to have a Safety Statement has been simplified greatly by providing farmers with the revised Code of Practice - Risk Assessment Document.  While compliance levels were reaching over 70% with the initial COP Risk Assessment document, HSA Inspections have found that many farmers have not yet moved to the revised Green Coloured document.  Completing the new revised risk assessment document, which has updated and additional risks covered will help identify hazards, implement controls and manage farm safety, health and wellbeing on the Farm.

Speaking about the importance of training, Pat Griffin, Senior Inspector at the Health and Safety Authority said: “A fundamental element to working safely in any sector is ensuring competence in your work activity. Competence can only be achieved through education, training and practice. The Farm Safety COP – Risk Assessment is the cornerstone of our national approach to farm safety and it is critical that all farmers get trained in its use and fully understand how to apply the risk assessment approach to prevent serious and fatal injury on their farms.  I would encourage all farmers to book a place and do the training at their earliest opportunity.” 

Professor Gerry Boyle, Director of Teagasc said: “Training is very important to help improve awareness of the main causes of farm accidents and to encourage farmers to adopt safer behaviours.  Teagasc and the HSA have been working closely on farm safety for a number of years and will continue to do so to prevent the all too common deaths and injuries on Irish farms.”

Francis Bligh, Health and Safety Specialist at Teagasc said: “It is heartening that to date in 2019 fatal accidents are below the long-term average, but I encourage farmers to keep focused, and to make every effort to ensure farms are incident free over the Autumn and Winter. With farm vehicles being the biggest killers, and as the evenings get darker, farmers and contractors must ensure that tractors and machinery are serviced and that lights and indicators are in good working order”.

For further details on the training, contact your local Teagasc office or visit www.teagasc.ie.