Farm safety 'life saver' wins innovation award
A potentially live-saving business idea that struck a young student as he was feeding cattle has seen him land a Young Innovator award.
Ian Bolger (19) created a safety device that warns farmers if attachments on their loaders are properly in place, with injuries and in some cases deaths caused by badly attached equipment.
The Kildalton College student said that there was a great reception for his new device at the National Ploughing Championships which saw him pick up both the Young Innovator award and the Safety Start-up award in the Enterprise Ireland Toplink.ie Innovation arena.
He will also receive a bursary to visit the world's largest agri-machinery expo, Agritechnica in Hanover, Germany.
"A few months back I was throwing silage into a Keenan feeder wagon and the grab came off when I was at the pit and I said to myself I would have done thousands of euro worth of damage if it had gone into the machine," Ian said.
"I started looking to see if there was any way of safely knowing or if there was any safety device that would let you know whether the attachment wasn't locked in.
"I could find that there was nothing there so I set about finding a solution and I came up with this idea to use two sensors and a light that would warn the operator if your attachment isn't locked in."
He reported strong interest in the device amongst farmers at the event.