New initiative on farm safety

Michael Fitzmaurice: Age profile is worrying.
Michael Fitzmaurice: Age profile is worrying.

RENEWED appeals have been made this week for farmers to be extra vigilant during the peak summer work period and especially in relation to children who are off for the school holidays.

Roscommon-Galway TD, Michael Fitzmaurice, said that unfortunately over recent weeks, there had been more loss of life on Irish farms.

His call comes as the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) has launched an updated Farm Safety Code of Practice (COP) aimed at reflecting technical progress and changes in the farming sector.

Deputy Fitzmaurice said that there were a number of aspects of farm safety that needed to be addressed as a matter of priority, including children, tiredness and the age profile of the farming community.

“Even though farmers are busy, they need to be mindful of children who are around the farm for the school holidays.

“Farmers also need to be vigilant at all times despite the fact that they may be tired due to long hours of work every day.

“It is easy to make mistakes through tiredness, so farmers should watch out for that, especially when moving animals or operating machinery.

“A lot of the accidents that we are seeing on farms are involving older or elderly farmers and that goes back to a point that I have been making on a constant basis that we are not doing enough to attract young people into farming.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.