Exercise extreme caution: Warning issued over storm damage repairs on farms
The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) is urging farmers involved in storm repair to exercise extreme caution over the coming days.
It urged farmers to “make their personal safety paramount.”
It asked farmers to wear footwear with good grips and visability jackets.
Pathways to machinery and sheds should also be cleared to reduce the risk of slips and falls.
Following the melting of the snow from the roofs of farm sheds and other workplace buildings, farmers and workers will need to access roofs to check for damage and leaks.
The Health and Safety Authority is advising that workers must only access roof spaces with caution and follow these safety precautions:
- Repairs to roofs must only be done by competent roof repair specialists;
- Plan and organise the roof repair work before carrying out the repairs;
- Ensure the correct working at height equipment is used;
- Ensure the risks from fragile roof surfaces are properly controlled e.g. on translucent sheeting and asbestos tiled roofs;
- Do not use ladders for roof repair work;
- Only use ladders as a means of access to the roof.
Agriculture Minister Michael Creed said the harsh weather conditions had left a trail of destruction and the Department of Agriculture was focused both on the horticulture sector and damage to farm sheds.
However, the minister stressed he expected insurance companies to step up and pay out on claims, with farmers facing significant costs from the collapse of sheds, greenhouses shattered, polytunnels torn, burst water pipes, animal losses and damaged milking parlours.