Prof Stephan Van den Broucke, a leading expert on prevention of accidents and ill health, will be the keynote speaker at the annual National Conference on Farm Safety and Health.

The conference takes place on Wednesday, 26 June at the Abbey Court Hotel, Nenagh, Co Tipperary from 10am -1pm.  The conference is hosted by Teagasc and the Health and Safety Authority as part of its joint prevention initiative in association with the farm safety partnership and is sponsored by FBD Trust.

Prof Van den Broucke is head of the department of health psychology and prevention at the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium and his presentation is titled ‘Designing more effective farm safety programmes – understanding what drives safe behaviour’. Prof Van den Broucke will base his presentation on research among Belgian farmers, in gaining positive health and safety change.

At the conference, Health and Safety Authority (HSA) chief executive Martin O’Halloran will unveil a new three-year plan to improve the record of farm health and safety. Teagasc director Prof Gerry Boyle will speak on the role of Teagasc in assisting farmers with safety and health.

Brendan McGarry, a member of the West Offaly, Dairy Farmer Discussion Group and recent overall winners of EU Occupational Safety and Health Agency Good Practice Award, will describe how their discussion group has helped its farmer members manage health and safety.

Teagasc Buildings Specialist Tom Ryan and Teagasc Health and Safety Officer John McNamara will outline how farms can be adapted to manage health and safety in an expanding agriculture.

Patrick Griffin, senior inspector with the HSA with responsibility for prevention in agriculture, will discuss trends in accidents in the agriculture sector and the authority’s approach to helping farmers to farm safely.

Important messages from a new booklet on Farmers Health commissioned by the Health Services Executive, the HSA and Teagasc and prepared by Dr Noel Richardson of the Centre for Men’s Health at Carlow Institute of Technology will be outlined at the conference.

The conference is particularly relevant to farmers, contractors, advisers and consultants and anyone with an interest in health and safety in agriculture. Attendance at the conference is free of charge. For further information, contact Teagasc Nenagh office at 067-31821.