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Minister of State Doyle Opens Farm Safety Conference: "Safeguarding the Future of Farming"

Minister of State for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Andrew Doyle T.D. today opened the Farm Safety Conference: Safeguarding the Future of Farming.

Minister Doyle said: “It is important to see people from all parts of the agricultural sector here today to work together in raising awareness of the tragic and difficult issue of farm safety.  No individual action or organisation that can solve this difficult problem that impacts so negatively on so many lives each year”.

This initiative along with others such as the recent Health and Safety Authority farm campaign focusing on Livestock Safety, which ran from 12 February to 23 February are very important in increasing awareness of the unacceptable level of farm accidents that occur every year within our industry. They also emphasise the need for continual awareness of farm safety. It is important to remember that farms are both work places and family homes and it is important that the whole family is alert to the risks that exist on farms.  Great care is required to ensure that tragic accidents do not occur.

While there are many risks in farming, farming does not have to be a dangerous occupation.  Behavioural change is what is required to prevent many accidents.  It is a case of being aware of the dangers and taking the time to do what is necessary to minimise the risk.”.

It is important that all agriculture related organisations encourage farmers to change their behaviours in relation to farm safety.  To date this year there have been 4 fatal farm accidents on Irish farms.  These 4 fatal farm accidents account for over forty percent of all fatal work accidents so far in 2018, while farming accounts for less than 6 percent of the workforce. Farm safety is an ongoing issue and in is important that farmers think Safety First in all the tasks they perform, no matter the pressure.

Minister Doyle concluded: “No individual action or organisation that can solve this difficult problem that impacts so negatively on so many lives each year.  We must all work together with the single goal of preventing farm accidents and therefore saving lives and minimising serious injuries. I would like to urge all farmers to fully embrace safe farming systems.

ENDS

Date Released: 20 April 2018