Teagasc students called on to be ‘farm champions for safety’

Teagasc has urged its agriculture college students to become “champions for safety” on farms after a series of seminars.

The seminars – which were held in association with the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) and ESB Networks – were timed ahead of on-farm work practice in February, when Teagasc students get practical experience.

The aim of the initiative – which is sponsored by FBD Insurance –  is to get students to be mindful of farm safety while they are on practice.

Each of the seminars was addressed by a victim of a farm accident, who spoke to the students on what happened to them, and how their accident affected their lives. For example, at the Kildalton College seminar, Kilkenny farmer Ann Doherty spoke of the “horrific consequences” of being attacked by a bull.

Students are being asked to work closely with their host farmer to minimise the risk of farm accidents, and to prioritise safe farming.

“The training and experience you gain during placement will be an invaluable asset to enable you to be a champion for safety in your future farming careers,” the students were told by FBD chairman Liam Herlihy.

The HSA, ESB and FBD representatives at the seminars provided details on the most common causes of farm accidents, and how to avoid them.

These seminars were designed as added reinforcement for the students’ pre-existing courses on the issue.

The host farms themselves are already registered with Teagasc and have high health and safety standards, with host farmers undertaking training on safety and risk assessment.