Farmers encouraged to attend seminar on felling trees safely

Farmers are being encouraged to attend a seminar on felling trees safely on Thursday, October 11, in Athenry, Co. Galway.

The event – which is being held at Teagasc’s Mellows Campus (Eircode: H65 R718) – is being hosted by the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) and Teagasc.

The seminar is being aimed at farmers who fell trees or carry out chainsaw work. It will also be of interest to: forest owners; forestry contractors; forestry advisers; forest management consultants; health and safety professionals; and students undergoing forestry training.

The seminar takes place against a background of increased levels of serious farm accidents related to chainsaw and timber work, according to the organisers.

The recent 2018 Teagasc National Farm Survey (NFS) of farm accident levels indicated that 7.7% of accidents causing injury related to chainsaws and timber work, they added.

Data indicates that over 216 serious accidents relate to chainsaws and timber work annually.

The focus of the seminar will be on: the safe use of chainsaws; harvesting; electricity; forestry contractors; and the new Forestry Knowledge Transfer Group Scheme.

Among the range of speakers is Gillian Clark, the CEO of Forest Industry Safety Accord (FISA) UK. She will launch a series of 10 leaflets on timber felling and chainsaw use adapted for Irish law with kind permission of FISA.

It is hoped that attendees will gain an insight and understanding of safe practices for tree felling, including windblow, the role of the forestry work manager and safety considerations for the selection of forestry contractors.

More information regarding the seminar – which is free to attend – is available on Teagasc’s website. It will kick off at 10:15am and it is scheduled to finish at 1:00pm.