Farm safety campaign to include inspections of holdings
An intensive farm safety inspection campaign has been launched by the Health and Safety Authority (HSA).
Authority inspectors will visit up to 300 farms during the two-week campaign to check that farmers have measures in place to minimise the risks of accidents.
As the main cause of deaths and serious injury on farms are accidents involving tractors and machinery, inspectors will check to see that all machines are properly maintained and that PTO shafts in particular are properly guarded.
Slurry pits, childrens' play areas and livestock handling facilities will also be checked. Inspectors will ensure farmers have assessed risks and put measures in place to minimise them.
Pat Griffin, senior inspector with the HSA, insisted there were plenty of resources available to assist farmers in complying with health and safety regulations and reducing the possibility of accidents.
"The Farm Safety Code of Practice and the online risk assessment tool [www.farmsafely.com] are free resources available to farmers that will greatly assist in minimising the risk of death or serious injury on farms."
Mr Griffin said the purpose of the campaign was to make farms safer places to work and live for farmers and their families.
"I would encourage farmers to give some time each day to farm safety, and to engage with our inspectors and act on any advice given. This is about saving life and limb," added the HSA inspector.