Farm Ireland

Monday 11 December 2017

HSA to focus on chainsaw and quad safety after bleak 2013

Derek Casey

Derek Casey

The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) will be focusing on machinery safety at their stand at this year's National Ploughing Championships, with a particular emphasis on quad bike and chainsaw safety.

This year is proving to be another bleak one for farm fatalities, with six fatal accidents taking place on Irish farms in the month of July alone. On average, around 20 farmers lose their lives due to farm accidents in Ireland every year. Once again, the majority of the fatal accidents this year have involved the use of tractors, farm vehicles and machinery.

According to Pat Griffin, senior inspector with the HSA, the Ploughing provides a major opportunity to influence farmers, farm families and others who work in the agriculture and forestry sectors to work safely to reduce deaths and serious injuries. "Those visiting the stand will have the opportunity to speak to safety professionals from across the agricultural sector, including farm safety inspectors, and to update their knowledge on farm safety and health.

"This year our stand will have an outdoor and indoor element with many active demonstrations.

"Considering the frequency of death and injury involving farm machinery, tractors and other vehicles, our focus will be on safety with vehicle and machinery movement. The stand will also feature demonstrations on general vehicle safety, vehicle danger zones, PTO entanglement and safety around overhead lines.

"This year, there will be a major focus on the safe use of quads (ATVs) and chainsaws with demonstrations on their safe use."

The other killer that Irish farmers succumb to is heart disease. To combat this trend Irish Heart Foundation nurses will be in attendance on the HSA stand to carry out farmer health checks. A respiratory survey involving lung function tests will also be carried out. The Safe Handling of Cattle, Survivor Stories and Older, Wiser, Safer DVDs will be on view within the marquee area.

Other topics that will be covered at the stand include training on completion of the Farm Safety Code of Practice, child safety, safety of older farmers, safety in the construction and maintenance of farm buildings, water safety, the safe handling of slurry and occupational health and mental health issues.

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Staff from the HSA and other farm safety bodies will be in attendance.

Irish Independent

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