Wicklow students’ trailer gate project takes farm safety prize

Wicklow students who designed a project involving the use of mechanised gates on livestock trailers to reduce farm injuries have won this year’s ABP Farm Safety Award at last week’s BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition (BTYSTE).

Cousins Alexander Brady and Jack Brady were overall winners of the award at the recent event, with their project “The Use of a Mechanism on the Gates of a Livestock Trailer to Decrease Farm Injuries”.

According to an ABP spokesperson, the students from Colaiste Chraobh Abhann, Co. Wicklow impressed the judges with their practical safety measures on “equipment that is used on a daily basis across Irish farms”.

The Farm Safety category, sponsored for a fourth year by ABP Food Group, has year-on-year produced “groundbreaking” safety projects that can be utilised on farms across Ireland, the spokesperson added.

The company also hosted a stand at this year’s event with the assistance of Irish farm safety educational platform for children Agri Kids.

ABP ran a number of practical farm safety presentations by Jim Dockery and his team from Farm Relief Services. Through peer-to-peer activity and demonstrations, the message of farm safety and the necessity to educate all farm users – including young people – is being highlighted, it was noted.

Managing director ABP Ireland Martin Kane said: “Congratulations to Alexander Brady and Jack Brady on their successful award submission. Their project captured the ethos of the category, which aims to focus on improving safety on farms and educating people about the dangers of accidents in a farming environment.

“The continued goal of this sponsorship is to increase awareness, particularly amongst young people, about the dangers on our farms and finding solutions to these dangers,” Kane added.

Unfortunately, farm safety is still very much an issue in Ireland and more attention needs to be given to it, as has been indicated by the figures released by the HSA concerning farming deaths last year.

“We hope that our efforts at the exhibition will make more people aware of farm safety precautions.”

The issue of farm safety is still very prevalent in Ireland today. Last year, 24 people were killed in farming accidents according to the Health and Safety Authority (HSA), 14 of whom were over the age of 65.

14 of those deaths resulted from tractor and farming vehicle accidents, including quad-bikes, a vehicle used by many farmers – including young people.