‘Small changes can make a big difference’: FBD urges farmers not to become another statistic

FBD Insurance launched its newly-branded farm safety programme earlier today, adding to its tradition of supporting safety initiatives such as the FBD Health and Safety Awards, hosted by UCD and the FBD Farm Safety Seminars.

The aim of the FBD Insurance Farm Protect campaign is to encourage farmers to make small changes to their working behaviours.

While farmers’ attitudes to health and safety are generally very positive, simple changes can make a big difference and are essential if a reduction is to be brought about in farm accidents.

Most farmers understand the hazards on their farm and the associated risks, but they often take chances – especially when they are rushing, are under stress or if there is a financial cost to bear.

The newly-branded FBD Insurance Farm Protect programme will focus on promoting awareness of the critical behavioral changes required through press and online adverts, social media and through distributing safety materials.

Farming is currently the most dangerous occupation in Ireland and the stark numbers are the reality of farming in Ireland today.

Unfortunately each year seems to break a new farm fatality record despite all the efforts and resources dedicated to reversing this trend.

The Farm Protect initiative will aim to encourage simple changes such as:
  • Never leaving a PTO shaft unprotected;
  • Never wearing loose or baggy clothing;
  • Never leaving engines running;
  • Always putting a nose ring and chain on a bull;
  • Never turning your back on a bull.

Present at today’s launch were FBD Insurance’s risk manager and vice chairman of the Farm Safety Partnership, Ciaran Roche, and FBD Insurance’s chief commercial officer John Cahalan.

Roche, an advocate for farm safety on behalf of FBD Insurance for several years, said at the launch: “Anyone who has ever made and broken a New Year’s resolution can appreciate the difficulty of changing behaviours.

“Making a lasting change in behaviour is rarely a simple process and usually involves a substantial commitment of time, effort and emotion.

Roche explained that what FBD Insurance is trying to communicate through Farm Protect is that lasting change starts with small changes.

Many unsafe practices on Irish farms are learned behaviours which have been passed down for generations – but is it fair to pass these on to the next generation?

“With this in mind it is imperative that we target the farmers of the future; as well as the farmers of today,” the farm safety manager stressed.

Cahalan also spoke, adding: “FBD Insurance believes that positive engagement with farmers on the topic of health and safety will help to foster a strong safety culture in the future.

“This engagement also has the potential to reduce death and injury on farms and improve the overall health and safety standards of all farmers.”

With this message at heart, FBD Insurance is urging all farmers, and their families, to take action and make sure that they don’t become another statistic.