Farm Ireland

Thursday 18 January 2018

ICSA urges farmers to respond to HSA questionnaire

Declan O’Brien

The ICSA is encouraging all farmers who receive a farm safety questionnaire from the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) to fill it out and return it, in the interests of generating a greater understanding of this complex issue.

"Over 3,000 farmers will be receiving this survey in the post from the HSA and I would be strongly encouraging everyone who gets it to give it their attention," said the ICSA's spokesman on farm safety, John Flynn.

"The information gathered will be used to inform the HSA's role in addressing the underlying issues related to dangerous situations in farming life.

"Farming is an inherently risky occupation, with factors such as unpredictable livestock, heavy machinery, and the ageing demographic all having an influence.

"However, there is a lot that we can do in terms of prevention in order to reduce the risks involved.

"This survey is an opportunity for farmers to shape the approach to farm safety in the future and as such, I'm hoping it will be given serious consideration by all who are asked to participate."

Farming has consistently been the most dangerous occupations in the Irish economy since the construction boom was halted five years ago.

Twenty-one people lost their lives in farming accidents in 2012, with 22 people being killed in each of the previous two years.

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A specialist group of HSA Inspectors exist for inspection of the agriculture sector. Inspection campaigns over recent years have found that levels of compliance in the sector are slowly increasing.

However, farming still experiences disproportionately high levels of fatal accidents.

Irish Independent