The inaugural Hooper Dolan Farm Safety Awards in association with Teagasc were launched at a special function in Kildalton College yesterday evening (Thursday, November 1).

Aimed at promoting good farm safety standards on farms in Co. Waterford, the awards offer the winner a prize to the value of €2,000.

The judging panel for the awards will consist of: John McNamara, Teagasc health and safety officer; Sue Phelan, Kildalton College; and Kieran O’Connor, O’Connor Communications; and WLR FM agricultural correspondent.

The areas to be covered by the awards include: a good risk assessment; machinery; livestock; animal handling facilities; buildings; slurry pits; farm equipment; grain and feed storage; meal bins; farmyard; electrics; farmyard lighting; children’s play area; and farmer health checks.

Speaking at the launch Cathal Lowe, chief executive of Hooper Dolan Insurances, said: “Farm accidents are a serious problem on our farms and being involved with farm insurance, we all too often see the enormous human and financial impact these accidents can have on both families and farm businesses.

L-R: John McNamara, Teagasc health and safety officer; Richard Barron, Hooper Dolan Insurances; Sue Phelan, Kildalton College; and Kieran O’Connor, O’Connor Communications. Image source: Noel Browne

“Hooper Dolan is delighted to launch and sponsor an award scheme that will help promote good safety practices on farms across Co. Waterford,” he said.

Our belief is that if this initiative helps prevent only one farm accident over the coming years we would view this as a massive success.

Speaking on behalf of the judging panel John McNamara said: “Health and safety is all about the application of good farm safety standards as well as good farm practices.

“There are many fine examples of good farm operations around the county and we need to highlight these ‘Best Practice Farms’ to help promote awareness and better application of farm health, safety and risk assessment.

“I want to thank Hooper Dolan for its generous sponsorship and I welcome these new awards.”

The awards are open to all farms and enterprises in Co. Waterford, according to organisers, with the closing date for entries set at Friday, November 23.

Those interested in applying to take part in the awards should contact John Paul Kiely or Richard Barron, Hooper Dolan’s Agri and Business Insurance team, on: 051-860-615; or email at: [email protected].