Farm safety fortnight to focus on preventing injuries from tractors and livestock
Tomorrow, Monday April 11, is the beginning of an intensive two-week farm safety inspection campaign with Inspectors from the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) visiting roughly 300 farms across the country.
According to the HSA, the key focus of the campaign will be on identifying crush zones and preventing impact injuries, which usually involve tractors and machinery or being caught by an animal that has suddenly turned aggressive.
Crush zones are generally between the tractor and an attachment or machine, or within the machine itself.
The HSA is encouraging farmers to learn how to recognise these zones and ensure that the risks to themselves and others are controlled.
Speaking about how many of these accidents occur, Pat Griffin Senior Inspector with the HSA said that he believes many of these crush injuries and deaths are actually caused by excessive workload, pressure, stress, improvising and taking short cuts.
“These factors coupled with fatigue, can be a lethal combination. By managing workload the risks can be reduced.”
There are few simple steps that can be considered for managing workload:
- Prioritise activities: Make choices about what to do and when to do it. Do the most important jobs first and spread workload out over time.
- Plan ahead: Allocate enough time for daily activities and plan for busy seasonal periods. Consider getting extra help at very busy periods where fatigue becomes a major factor.
- Pacing: Organise a routine so on average the same amount of work is done each day. Plan what is going to be done rather than responding to what needs to be done.
During ‘Farm Safety Fortnight’ the HSA will also be highlighting the importance of safety for young children on farms.
“Children should have safe play areas away from work activity, and in full view of the farm house.
“They should be given clear instruction on safety issues and kept away from dangerous areas such as slurry pits, working machinery and high areas,” Griffen said.
For more information on tractor safety and child safety on farms visit the HSA website.