DUBLIN, Ireland - This week the IFA in Ireland is marking Farm Safety Week.
"I very much welcome that the IFA are leading the fifth annual Farm Safety Week. It is important that every organisation involved in agriculture continually raises the need for farmers to farm safely," the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed said Monday.
"This initiative along with others such as the recent HSA Farm Safety campaign at the end of April which focused on the safe use of tractors and machinery, are very important in increasing awareness of the unacceptable level of farm accidents that occur every year within our industry and 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. One of the first steps in helping to achieve a safe farm is for farmers to adhere to the Farm Safety Code of practice and to review their Farm Risk Assessment," Creed said.
"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. There are plenty of ways to reduce the danger, without spending huge money. The first of these is to complete a Farm Risk Assessment."
"It is important that all farming organisations encourage farmers to change their behaviours in relation to farm safety. To date this year there has been 12 fatal farm accidents on Irish farms. These 12 fatal farm accidents account for over forty percent of all fatal work accidents so far in 2019, while farming accounts for less than 6 percent of the workforce," the minister added.
"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."
"Farmers need to be reminded to think "am I doing enough" to ensure there are no accidents on their own farm – it is through farmers taking individual action that the number of farm accidents will be reduced. 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. 'I would like to commend the IFA and urge all farmers to fully embrace safe farming systems, Minister Creed said.