Farm safety a key feature for Moorepark ’19

Teagasc will hold farm safety demonstrations at Moorepark ‘19, the Teagasc National Dairy Open Day, on Wednesday, July 3.

The safety demonstrations take place against the background of increased farm deaths so far in 2019.

This year, 10 farm deaths have occurred to-date, according to the Health and Safety Authority, compared to 16 in 2018, including one timber-related fatality.

A Teagasc National Farm Survey (NFS) in 2018 has also shown that levels of serious non-fatal farm accidents causing injury are also rising with an increase of 13% compared to a previous survey in 2012.

At the Moorepark ‘19, a dramatic re-enactment of a farm accident will take place on the day, at regular intervals.

The event will also focus on vehicle and machinery safety including safe quad use, identification of blind spots around farm vehicles and power shaft covering.

Demonstrations on safety with livestock and working at heights on farms will be held.

The Teagasc NFS 2018 survey has indicated that the majority of accidents on dairy farms are associated with livestock (37%); vehicles and machinery (23%); trips, falls and blows (15%); chainsaws/wood related (13%); buildings (5%) and other accidents (7%).

Farmer health issues will be featured strongly, with a focus on cardiovascular health – with the Irish Heart Foundation on hand to provide free blood pressure checks.

The importance of using sun protection in order to prevent skin cancer will also be highlighted.

Teagasc health and safety specialist advisor Dr. John McNamara commented ahead of the event.

“It is vital to give farm safety top priority over the summer months when accidents tend to peak,” he said.

Recent trends showed that 17% of annual farm fatalities occurred in July – making it the most dangerous month of the year.

The specialist noted that Teagasc advisors will be on hand to deal with “specific health and safety queries and a comprehensive range of farm health and safety publications will be available”.