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Ask your Teagasc Advisor about Farm Health and Safety

Tom Curran, Teagasc Head of Advisory Services, has called on farmers to emphasise health and safety when consulting with advisors. He made his call at the Teagasc Moorepark Dairy Open Day, where the importance of farm health and safety was emphasised.

Ask your Teagasc Advisor about Farm Health and Safety
Dr John McNamara, National Health and Safety Officer, Teagasc; Thomas Curran, Head of Advisory Services and Dr Mohammad Mohammadrezaei, Department of AgriBusiness and Spatial Analysis, Teagasc at the National Dairy Open Day in Moorepark, Fermoy, Co Cork. Picture O'Gorman Photography.

Ask your Teagasc Advisor about Farm Health and Safety

Tom Curran’s call comes after the publication of an important Teagasc study on advisors’ intention to discuss farm safety. The research was conducted as part of the Teagasc Be Safe project studying farmer behavioural safety funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

The study established that farmers generally do not emphasise farm safety as an important aspect of their farm work and they do not ask for support from their advisor with this aspect of farm management. Consequently, advisors hesitate to address farm health and safety as they perceive that farmers do not consider it a matter of importance.

Dr Mohammad Mohammadrezaei, the lead author of the study, explained that “Advisors are less likely to talk about farm health and safety if they think that farmers they work with, and leading farmers in particular, believe farm safety is unimportant. To change this, farmers need to be proactive and ask advisors about health or safety issues.”

Dr John McNamara, Teagasc Health and Safety Specialist advisor, and study co-author, said that advisors have training and practical knowledge to strongly support farmers to improve health and safety management. This is best done in an integrated way when farmers are discussing farm performance and developments with their advisors. 

Dr David Meredith, Teagasc Research Officer and Be Safe project leader, said that we now need to translate our study findings into practical measures that can be adopted by farmers.   A key element of this is to increase positive dialogue between farmers and their advisors on implementation of positive health and safety measures on farms.   

The paper ‘Subjective norms influence advisors’ reluctance to discuss farm health and safety’ has been published in the ‘The Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension’. 

For Further Information visit: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/1389224X.2022.2125410