'A question on farm safety needs to be asked on the Leaving Cert Ag Science paper'
A farm safety mentor programme is the only way to solve Ireland’s farm death issue says campaigner and farm accident survivor Peter Gohery.
Galway drystock farmer Peter Gohery who lost a limb in a PTO accident on his farm told FarmIreland that a mentor programme urgently needs to be set up to make farming safer.
“What I’m seeing on the ground is unless you have a person who has an absolute passion for farm safety you won’t engage people,” he said.
“We’ve travelled around the country and I’ve done talks and farmers see me and it shocks them so much that they’re not able to talk and that’s what you need.
“A real mentor programme is needed with someone who cares about farm safety and it can’t just be given by someone who has done a degree in Ag Science and has done a crash course on farm safety.”
Mr Gohery praised Alma Jordan of children’s farm safety programme AgriKids who has visited hundreds of national schools to talk about farm safety with children in the last year in conjunction with Zurich.
“Alma has been doing great work for the last number of years and especially with Zurich in the last year but what if that ended with Zurich? A fund needs to be put in place for the likes of Alma to go to schools and talk to kids because you have to be able to talk to kids in a certain way and engage and she is great at that,” he said.
Peter said funding also needs to be put in place to implement a similar programme for secondary schools and for farm safety to be made a significant part of the Leaving Cert Agricultural Science course.
“We need someone to be able to go to secondary schools to do something similar to what Alma does. A couple of guys have contacted me about doing it but they’re not sure how to go about it.
“A question needs to be asked about farm safety on the Ag Science Leaving Cert paper to hit home how important it is because if they go to third level without that message of safety it is lost,” he said.
Zurich has stated that it is committed to it's three year programme with AgriKids and looks forward to exploring how they can progress the project in to the future. It currently has one year of a three year contract completed with AgriKids
Farm Safety Week is currently taking place in Ireland and the UK this week and is supported by a number of stakeholders including Irish Farmers Association, Health and Safety Authority (HSA) and members of the Farm Safety Partnership Advisory Committee.
Farming continues to have one of the poorest safety records of any sector in Ireland, last year 24 people lost their lives in farm accidents and 11 people have lost their lives so far in 2018.