Kent calls for health and safety education in schools

Declan O'Brien

Declan O'Brien

The ICSA president Patrick Kent has called for health and safety education to be included in the primary school curriculum, with a particular emphasis on farm safety for children in rural areas.

"What lesson is there that is more important than how to stay alive?" asked Mr Kent. "There is room in subjects like Social, Personal and Health Education (SPHE) to include a module on health and safety, and in rural areas, this could be focussed on farm safety," Mr Kent said.

"Formally teaching young children about safety issues would also have wider benefits," continued Mr Kent.

"The voice of a child pointing out that something is dangerous will have far more impact on a parent than all the DVDs and courses available. We must start with the very youngest if we are serious about reducing farm accidents and fatalities through education, and ICSA is calling on Minister Coveney to explore this with the Minister for Education and Skills as a matter of urgency.

"Meanwhile, understanding what drives self-employed farmers is key to designing more effective farm safety programmes, Dr Denis O'Hora, from NUI Galway school of psychology told the national conference on farm safety and health in Kilkenny last Thursday.

Dr O'Hora addressed the issue of what causes self-employed persons, such as farmers, to take safety risks.

"Sources of pressure for farmers include time pressure and financial pressure. In a self-employed context, the conflict between productivity and safety often arises for the individual and this can make it difficult to choose the safer but sometimes slower practice," Dr O'Hora explained."

Awareness does not seem to be the problem. Farmers realise that their work can be dangerous, but under pressure, they sometimes make decisions that expose themselves and family members to risks," he added.

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Roscommon Cattle Show

The 19th annual Commercial Cattle Exhibitors Society Winter Fair will be held in Roscommon Livestock Mart on October 26-27. There will be classes for all breeds, weights and ages.

Over the last 18 years this society has promoted cattle breeding and showing and this weekend always proves to be the highlight of the year with our annual dinner dance in the Abbey Hotel in Roscommon on Sunday October 26.

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