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Farmers asked to make a big effort on safety in 2014

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A SPECIAL plea has been made this week for farmers to make 2014 the safest ever year recorded on Irish farms, following the confirmation the deaths of 16 people last year in agri-related accidents.

In four of those farm deaths, children lost their lives, prompting the CEO of the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) to ask farmers for a special effort this year to prevent on-farm deaths.

HSA CEO, Martin O’Halloran, said that while some jobs like farming could be more hazardous than others, it could never be accepted that these deaths were inevitable and couldn’t be prevented.

“I am particularly concerned that 4 children lost their lives due to work-related accidents on Irish farms last year. We are working to foster a culture of safety in the sector but high accident rates show that the pace of change is too slow. I am calling on farmers to make 2014 the safest year on farms ever recorded,” said Mr. O’Halloran.

Two of the 16 farm deaths in 2013 occurred in Galway and Mayo. The Galway death was last Spring when a 61-year-old farmer got trapped between a tractor and an attachment.

In the Mayo fatality, a 45-year-old farmer died after getting entangled in a feeder last November.

There were two other work fatalities in Galway, one of them in the transport sector where the victim was a 45-year-old Lithuanian garage worker who fell from a trailer last March.

The third Galway work fatality was a 65-year-old man who was crushed by a teleporter last October.

Most of the farm accidents were machinery related and included entrapment or falls from tractors and trailers. Other causes of death were: livestock, electrocution, silage gases and a fall.

According to the figures released this week by the HSA, there were 46 people killed in work-related accidents during 2013, compared to 48 in 2012.

There were reductions in fatalities in the Agriculture sector, from 21 in 2012 down to 16 in 2013; the Fishing sector, from 7 in 2012 to 4 in 2013; and the Water supply, sewerage, waste management and remediation activities sector with 4 fatalities in 2012 and 1 reported last year.

The Construction sector recorded the second highest number of fatalities with 11 killed, making it the third year in a row that fatalities increased in the sector. The main causes were the movement of vehicles on site and falls from heights.

The county with the highest number of fatalities during 2013 was Cork with 12 occurring; 6 in Agriculture, 4 in Construction, 1 in Education and 1 in Fishing. Counties Dublin and Waterford recorded the second highest number of fatalities with 4 in each.

“The overall trend in fatalities has been decreasing for the last 10 years. However the fact is that each year people lose their lives because of a work-related accident. This is a tragedy for the victims, their families, friends and the wider community. 

“Generally our investigations show that these tragedies could have been prevented. The likelihood of an accident occurring can be greatly reduced by ensuring that safety is at the core of all work activity   anything less is an invitation to disaster,” said Martin O’Halloran.

Connacht Tribune

Worry of walkers claiming against farmers

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Connacht IFA Chair, Pat Murphy

FARMERS in hill-walk areas such as Connemara need to have their concerns allayed about insurance indemnification, the IFA has warned this week.

A pilot insurance project for farmers – as outlined by Rural and Community Development Minister, Heather Humphrey – is in the pipeline but has not yet been enacted into legislation.

Connacht IFA Chair, Pat Murphy, said that farmers in such areas needed the clear reassurance that if walkers on their farm had a fall or mishap, then the landowners would not be liable for any compensation.

“This really is a red line issue for farmers and landowners. They must be guaranteed in law that if hill-walkers are allowed on their lands that no liability will attach to the landowner if something happens,” said Pat Murphy.

He said that while farmers supported the principle of people being able to access the more scenic areas of the countryside, the issue of insurance indemnification had to be crystal clear.

“We also know that the issue of dogs being let roam by people out on country walks is one that needs to be addressed.

“The first thing a dog will do that’s let roam free will be to follow the nearest animal they see, and this is a major worry especially for sheep farmers,” said Pat Murphy.

Meanwhile, National Hill Committee Chairman Flor McCarthy has expressed concerns about recreational users not abiding by the Countryside Code during the recent spell of good weather.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Now is the right time to plan ahead for next year’s crop of Spring lambs

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The boss is around: Prepare early for the breeding season. Photo: Compliments of Agriland.

IT might still only be Midsummer, but a Teagasc specialist has advised sheep farmers that now is the time to start planning ahead for the upcoming breeding season.

Michael Gottstein, Head of Sheep Knowledge Transfer, said that while most people considered the breeding season to be just the five to six weeks that the rams were out with the ewes, in reality it was much longer.

“The breeding season for next year’s lamb crop actually starts once the current year’s lamb crop is weaned,” Michael Gottstein has advised in the Summer edition of the Teagasc magazine, Today’s Farm.

He outlined three key Summer dates for sheep farmers – late June/early July for weaning and checking on the condition of the ewes; early July for a ram health check; and late July/early August when the ram sales kick off.

The Teagasc specialist said that productive ewes will require about 10 weeks of good grass after weaning to regain body weight lost during pregnancy and lactation.

“Contrary to what many farmers think, it is not a good idea to allow ewes to lose weight post-weaning. Thin ewes that do not regain body condition after six weeks of good grass should be culled,” said Michael Gottstein.

He also advised that rams should be checked in early July for lameness, body condition, as well as for signs of disease or injury – while, like the ewes, they needed time to regain body condition.

“Identify how many, if any, replacements (rams) are required and purchase them early, so that they have the best chance of acclimatising to their new environment and feeding regime,” he added.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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Connacht Tribune

Fair Deal reached as Bill is enacted

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Maura Canning: Good day expected.
Maura Canning, the former IFA Farm Family and Social Affairs Chairperson

RELIEF has been expressed this week in farming and political circles that at last the Fair Deal Nursing Home legislations changes have been passed by the Oireachtas.

The Bill went through the Dáil last Thursday and the Seanad on Friday, bringing to a conclusion a campaign that started back in 2012.

Maura Canning, the former IFA Farm Family and Social Affairs Chairperson, told the Farming Tribune there was a great sense of relief that a nine-year long campaign had at last got over the line.

“It has been such a long and difficult campaign to secure this deal with a lot of complications and obstacles along the way. At times, we seemed to be almost there, until something happened to hold up the process, but there really was a great sense of relief last Friday when the Bill at last passed through its final stages,” said Maura Canning.

She paid a particular to former Minister of State, Jim Daly; the current incumbent Mary Butler; and also to the many TDs and Senators that had been lobbied over the years on the issue. “No TD ever failed to return a call,” she said.

The key change in the new Bill is that there will be a three-year cap on the 7.5% annual contribution of the overall value of the farm where the farmer or their spouse is in a nursing home. There are a number of conditions attached to this CAP, the most significant of which is the fact that the farm must be signed over fully to the inheritor for a five-year period and this person must also continue farming on the land.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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