Michael Somers, back left, Kilkenny Teagasc Forestry Advisor, with Teagasc staff and members of the host farm family
‘The Farm Safety Experience’, an event promoting family safety on farms, will take place on the farm of Padraig Moran, Coorevin Farm, Borrisokane, Co. Tipperary, on Wednesday, April 17, at 12 noon.
This is a collaborative event involving Teagasc, IFA and Gurteen Agricultural College. This year Maxol Lubricants are also joining as partners in the event. This will be an interactive event involving the Model Farm, the Pet Farm and displays of good farm practices. AgriKids and Height for Hire are also involved on the day.
Kilkenny's Michael Somers, who was one of the Kilkenny People of the Year, last year, is a forestry advisor with Teagasc, and is also involved in the event.
Schools are asked to participate in a colouring competition for national schools. There is a prize of a John Deere model Roly tractor sponsored by Banaghans in Cloughjordan. Other prizes for the competition are sponsored by AgriKids. In addition there are hotel vouchers, firewood and fuel vouchers on offer as prizes. Secondary schools in the area are also involved in a competition for tractor simulator driving skills.
The fatality rate in agriculture is far higher than any other economic sector. A large proportion of all fatal workplace accidents occur in agriculture, even though a small proportion of the workforce is employed in farming. The level of farm accidents is not decreasing. Similar accidents occur each year. Research indicates that, in general, farmers’ attitudes to safety only change after serious injury occurs.
Speaking at the launch of the event, Teagasc Advisor and event coordinator Claire Mooney said: “This is a very novel and innovative event. It’s only by working together with all the agencies, that we can tackle the safety issue on farms. Michael Somers Teagasc Forestry and event co-organiser added; “The age profile of those killed is of serious concern. The old and the young are exceptionally vulnerable to death and injury on Irish farms”.
This farm safety event is aimed at bringing children, their parents, and families together to see how they can make farms a safer place.
Tipperary North IFA Chairperson, Imelda Walsh said: “I fully support this approach as I am aware that farms are the only work place in Ireland where children die. This is what we are trying to address at this event.” Donal Mullane, Teagasc Regional Manager for Tipperary said: “Sometimes with Health and Safety we emphasize the safety and not the health. We hope to cover all angles in this event including mental health, diet, insect diseases and basic first aid. We’re delighted to welcome renowned Cardiologist, Dr. Michael Conway, to point out signs that farmers should get their hearts checked.”
Cathal O’Dwyer, Maxol said: “We came on board this year and are delighted to be involved with the event. We have been involved in the agriculture sector for generations and any help we can give to support this worthwhile cause we will. We hope to launch our farm safety DVD at the event which will be shown on all our social media channels and platforms.”