Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Tuesday 26 September 2017

Innovative design has safety covered for no more than €5

PROTECTION: Collecting their Bare-Co PTO covers from Gerard Clarke and Martin McPhillips of Clarkes Machinery are Peter Maguire, Longford Purchasing Group and Vincent Nally, Irish Rural Link. Photo: Lorraine Teevan.
PROTECTION: Collecting their Bare-Co PTO covers from Gerard Clarke and Martin McPhillips of Clarkes Machinery are Peter Maguire, Longford Purchasing Group and Vincent Nally, Irish Rural Link. Photo: Lorraine Teevan.
Darragh McCullough

Darragh McCullough

A MIDLANDS purchasing group has spearheaded a farm safety initiative that has the potential to be replicated throughout the country.

More than 100 farmers in the Longford Purchasing Group have received innovative new drive shaft covers at a fraction of the standard cost, following a team-up between the group, Irish Rural Link and local machinery dealer, Clarke Farm Machinery.

"The beauty of these Bare-Co shaft covers is that they literally require no equipment," said Irish Rural Link's Vincent Nally.

Ease

"In addition, they can be slipped on and off a PTO (Power Take Off) with ease anytime a farmer is trying to grease it or attach it to an awkward machine," he added.

While the purchasing group normally focuses on securing discounted prices for key farm inputs such as meal, fertiliser, medicine, insurance, banking and telecoms, the group also looks at channelling surplus funds into ideas that will benefit more than just their members' pockets.

Following a farm safety talk at one of their monthly meetings last year, some of the group liaised with Irish Rural Link (IRL) who co-ordinate the Farm Safety Mentor Programme, a pilot farm safety initiative taking place in the midlands.

Clarke Farm Machinery agreed to support the group following a commitment for a large order, bringing the actual cost of the covers down by more than 90pc to as little as €5 for group members.

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"Awareness on farm safety is quite strong amongst farmers, but the challenge of triggering behavioural change is harder to crack," said Mr Nally.

"We know from research that when an individual undertakes an activity once and sees the merits of doing it they have no difficulty repeating the process indefinitely.

"The beauty of the Bare-Co replacement cover is its simplicity, its universal fitting capability and how user friendly it is in terms of assembly," he added.

Group chairman, Peter Maguire, said that each member had also committed to promoting and demonstrating the covers to at least three of their friends and neighbours, in an effort to maximise the impact of the initiative.

A total of 16 people died on Irish farms last year, and PTO entanglement has accounted for 17pc of farm fatalities on average during the last decade.

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