Work Organisation for Farmer Health & Safety Video Launched
Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine with special responsibility for Farm Safety, Martin Heydon T.D. today, Tuesday, 4th July, launched a video ‘Work Organisation for Farmer Health and Safety’ at the Moorepark Dairy Open Day, Fermoy, Co Cork.
The Video was produced by Teagasc health and safety specialist advisors in association with FBD Insurance and the Farm Safety Partnership advisory committee to the Health and Safety Authority.
The Video focuses on approaches to cut workload on farms to prevent working in a hurry and tiredness on farms, which is a major contributory factor in farm workplace injuries and ill health. The production is part of a Managing Farm Health and Safety series of 18 videos which outline best practice for farm health and safety topics.
Production of the work organisation for farmers health and safety video follows recent research which revealed that farmers believe that farm work organisation causes tiredness and hurry and is a major contributory factor in workplace causation. Further research, using Teagasc National Farm Survey (NFS) data, indicates that dairy farms where work-load increased during the 2012 to 2017 expansionary period had over double the level of farm workplace injuries.
Additionally, a review conducted by a DCU research team funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM), found that, internationally, farmers experience higher levels of burnout and exhaustion compared to non-farmers.
The work organisation for farmer health and safety video sets out best practice approaches to implementing best practice strategies to manage work organisation for health and safety on farms. The video also includes a case-study featuring Jimmy and Anne Cotter, who operate a dairy farm in Coachford, Co Cork. Jimmy and Anne outline the importance for them of managing work organisation for health and safety, lifestyle and farm business reasons.
Speaking at the launch of the video, which is one of a series on farm safety, Minister Martin Heydon said: “Work organisation has an important role to play when it comes to protecting health and safety on the farm. Working long hours under pressure and rushing from job to job can lead to fatigue which is a major factor in many incidents on farms.
“This video not only highlights the damaging effects that poor work organisation can have on farmers’ health and safety, but it also highlights the many benefits of managing work organisation. Good work organisation can contribute to not only improved health and safety but also time efficiencies and a better work/life balance.”
Teagasc Director, Professor Frank O’Mara stated that “Teagasc strongly recognise the importance of work organisation for farmer health and safety, lifestyle and farm business reasons. In addition to the video being launched and research being undertaken, a work organisation advisory tool for use with farmers has been developed, and is currently being evaluated as a component of the DAFM Funded Be Safe research grant.”
Ciaran Roche, FBD Risk Manager commented that “Planning work in an efficient and organised manner is intrinsically linked to safe working behaviour. Advanced planning of work activities creates the opportunity to carryout out risk assessments, implement safe working procedures and identify appropriate equipment or facilities for the job at hand.”
Pat Griffin, Senior Inspector for Farm Safety at the Health and safety Authority welcomed the launch of this important video and encouraged all farmers to view and consider its content in relation to their work practices. Pat stated that; “Many serious and fatal incidents investigations by H.S.A. Inspectors found that rushing, trying to finish a job at all costs or just trying to do too much in a day, has led to a simple mistake but with dreadful consequences. Planning and good work organisation, doing the more difficult tasks early in the day and seeking help when necessary has the potential to prevent death and injury”.
The Video can be viewed at: https://www.teagasc.ie/rural-economy/farm-management/farm-health--safety/videos/