‘The Farm Safety Experience’, an event promoting family safety on farms, is to take place in Gurteen Agricultural College, Ballingarry Roscrea, on Saturday, April 28, from 12noon to 4pm.
This is a collaborative event involving Teagasc, Gurteen Agricultural College, IFA, ICMSA, Arrabawn Co-op, FRS Networks, An Garda Siochana, Embrace and Agri Aware.
It will be an interactive event involving the Model Farm, the Pet Farm and displays of good farm practices.
Schools are asked to participate in a colouring competition for national schools. There is a prize fund of €500 for competitors sponsored by Arrabawn Co-Op.
The fatality rate in agriculture is far higher than any other economic sector. A large proportion of all fatal workplace accidents occur in agriculture, even though a small proportion of the workforce is employed in farming. The level of farm accidents is not decreasing. Similar accidents occur each year. Research indicates that, in general, farmers’ attitudes to safety only change after serious injury occurs.
Speaking at the launch of the event, local Teagasc Advisor and event coordinator Claire Mooney said: “This is a very novel and innovative event.
Only working together with all the agencies can we tackle the Safety issue, Michael Somers Teagasc, event co-organiser added; “The age profile of those killed is of serious concern. The old and the young are exceptionally vulnerable to death and injury on Irish farms”. The event is aimed at bringing children, their parents, and families together to see how they can make farms a safer place.
Tipperary IFA Chairperson, Imelda Walsh said: “I fully support this approach I am aware that male farmers between the ages of 15 and 64 have a fatality rate much higher than people of their age in other occupations.” Donal Mullane Regional Manager, Teagasc Tipperary said: “Sometimes with Health and Safety we emphasize the safety and not the health. We hope to cover all angles in this event including mental health, diet, insect diseases and basic first aid.”
Mike Pearson, Principal of Gurteen Agricultural College said: “We are delighted to host the event. We have world class facilities here in the college and we can show how families can be safe on their own farms.” Nora Peters from Agri Aware said that they are keen to work with other agencies on important farming agendas; Agri Aware has a long history of working with the agricultural sector to promote good farm practices.