Trained farmers to drive safety message
An innovative new approach to tackling farm safety will see farmers being trained as 'safety mentors' to help coach neighbours in farm safety.
The initiative is being launched by Irish Rural Link (IRL) and will be run in association with the Health and Safety Authority (HSA).
It will be rolled out initially in the midlands and IRL is inviting applications from the farming communities in the counties of Westmeath, Meath, Cavan and Longford to participate in a pilot project.
The initiative is based on the discussion group model, where farmers mentor their colleagues on farm safety.
Seamus Boland, the CEO of Irish Rural Link, said the decision to launch the initiative was influenced by last year's high rate of farm deaths. Twenty-three people died on farms last year, the highest number for some time.
"Farmers know better than anyone the day-to-day challenges in terms of farm safety, and by empowering farmers themselves with comprehensive communication skills we can sow the seeds of change," Mr Boland said.
The successful applicants will complete a FETAC Level 6 training programme that will provide participants with the skills to manage training and to communicate in a professional manner.