Linking safety to payments 'will only add to farm pressure'
Farm organisations remain steadfast that safety should not be linked to payments despite the rising number of accidents and deaths on Irish farms.
Their stance comes as the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) announced that they have been granted permission to hire 11 more inspectors in an effort to curb the amount of farm fatalities, which have now risen to 18 this year.
ICMSA president John Comer told the Farming Independent that linking farm payments to health and safety measures would only increase "the constant pressure" that is already placed on farmers.
"ICMSA doesn't believe that the way to go about addressing the terrible rates of farm deaths and accidents is by adding another layer of inspection, stress and anxiety to the farmer's schedule, which is already notable for huge and intensive workloads for what are increasingly one-person operations," he said.
IFA farm family chairperson Maura Canning believes education rather than linking farm safety to payments is the best way to ensure safety.
"Awareness and education programmes to support farmers to change behaviour are the best way to reduce farm accidents," she said.
"Any link between farm safety and payments will not bring about the sustained behavioural change that is required to make our farms safer and will only add to the stress on farm families."
INHFA president Colm O'Donnell called on the Government to set up an awareness course that all farmers would be obliged to complete as the current safety campaigns were not going far enough.