Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue highlighted the need to protect farmers and farm workers by implementing a culture of farm safety practices into everyday work life at the IFA Farm Safety event at the Porter family farm in Co Donegal.
This is part of a series of events organised by IFA as part of Farm Safety Week to shine a spotlight on farm safety and encourage farmers to join the challenge to make one change to make their farm a safer
place to work and live.
Speaking at an IFA Farm Safety event in Carrigans, the Minister said “Farming is the most dangerous occupation in terms of fatalities in the workplace, with children and the elderly particularly. It is clear
that attitudes and behaviours need to change and unsafe practices must become socially unacceptable.
“Many fatal and non-fatal incidents can be prevented by simple changes in behaviour and practices. Almost half of farm fatalities involve vehicles and machinery. PTO guards are inexpensive and shouldn’t cost
an arm or a leg, never mind a life.”
The Minister added: “Together with Minister of State with responsibility for farm safety, Martin Heydon, T.D., we are implementing a series of initiatives in 2022 through dedicated funding of €2.25m that was allocated to farm safety in Budget 2022.
“These initiatives promote improved farm safety practices and risk awareness and encourage behavioural change around farm safety, while also supporting those who have been impacted by fatal and non-fatal
“Changing our attitudes and behaviours can have a major effect on improving farm safety, health and wellbeing. We need to think farm safety as we go about our farm work and always err on the side of
2022 marks the tenth annual Farm Safety Week, a collaborative campaign, initiated by the Farm Safety Foundation in the UK and led by the IFA in Ireland. It brings together farming organisations from
Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and England on the topic of farm safety.
Farm Safety Week is an annual event in the IFA calendar. Vehicles and machinery account for 50% of farm deaths, with the elderly and children at increased risk. Prevention, training, maintenance and safe
work practices are essential to good working practice.
IFA Farm Family & Social Affairs Chair Alice Doyle said the aim of this year’s Farm Safety Week is to urge farmers to make a change now, to protect their families from life-changing and life-ending incidents
by taking steps to create safer working environments.
“All too often we put tasks on the long finger and can increase the risk of accident and even death. The message for this year’s campaign is: Let’s Make a Change Now”.
“The research shows that there is a notable increase in farm fatalities in July, this Farm Safety Week let’s buck the trend and aim to reduce the number of accidents on farms and bring about a change in
culture that makes unsafe practices socially unacceptable.”