Collaborative event aiming to promote family safety on farms

A collaborative event scheduled to take place later this month is aiming to promote family safety on farms.

Gurteen Agricultural College – near Ballingarry, Roscrea, Co. Tipperary – will play host to ‘The Farm Safety Experience’ on Saturday, April 28, from 12:00pm to 4:00pm.

The event will involve participation from Teagasc, Gurteen Agricultural College, the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA), the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers’ Association (ICMSA), Arrabawn Co-op, FRS Networks, An Garda Siochana, Embrace FARM and Agri Aware.

It will be an interactive event involving the model farm, the pet farm and displays of good farm practices, according to the organisers. As well as this, national schools are being asked to participate in a colouring competition – with Arrabawn Co-op putting up a prize fund of €500.

A total of 24 farm-related fatalities were recorded on Irish farms last year, with 14 of these being over 65.

Currently, a large proportion of all fatal workplace accidents occur in agriculture, even though a small percentage of the workforce is employed in farming.

Speaking at the launch of the event, local Teagasc advisor and event coordinator, Claire Mooney, said: “This is a very novel and innovative event. Only by working together with all the agencies can we tackle the safety issue.”

Meanwhile, the event’s co-organiser – Teagasc’s Michael Somers – explained that the age profile of those killed is a “serious concern“, with both the old and the young “exceptionally vulnerable”.

The event is aimed at bringing children, their parents, and families together to see how they can make farms a safer place.

The principal of Gurteen Agricultural College, Mike Pearson, outlined that the college is delighted to host the event.

“We have world class facilities here in the college and we can show how families can be safe on their own farms,” he said.