Mountbellew to host Valentine’s Day farm safety event

A half-day farm safety event is set to take place for farmers and their families on Friday, February 14, at Mountbellew Agricultural College.

The event – which will be hosted in association with Teagasc – comes in response to 2019 figures which indicated that 18 farmers were fatally injured on farms.

To date, provisional data from the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) indicates that one fatality has already taken place in 2020.

Commenting on the event, Teagasc advisor and event organiser Glen Corbett said: “Farm safety is a crucial issue and concern on Irish farms.

There needs to be constant awareness among the farming community of how we can make our farms safer places to be and work.

“As the average age of an Irish farmer is about 57 years, there is a need for farmers to adapt their farms and work practices for safety.”

HSA data shows that about 72% of the deaths among Irish farmers were in the over 60 age group in 2019 (13 out of 18).

Alma Jordan of Agrikids will be present to promote childhood safety in a vibrant child friendly indoor environment.

Also commenting on the event, Teagasc’s health and safety specialist, Francis Bligh, said: “We want to give strong health and safety messages as the year progresses.

We will also be holding an event for school children earlier in the day.

“Mountbellew Agricultural College has many excellently designed examples of buildings, livestock handling facilities and equipment that are designed for safety.”

Speakers at the event will include:
  • Farm accident victim, Peter Gohery;
  • Garda Síochána representatives;
  • The HSA;
  • Farm Relief Services (FRS);
  • Teagasc and Mountbellew College staff.

According to the HSA, the common reasons for deaths and accidents on farms are tractors, vehicles, machinery, livestock, falls from heights and working with slurry.

Tractor and vehicle knock-downs and cow attacks are a particularly high cause of fatal injury.

Demonstrations in the farmyard of Mountbellew Agricultural College will take place on all these topics.

All farmers are most welcome to attend and the event will run from 2:00pm to 5:00pm.