Focus on roof work and falling objects in 500 HSA inspections
The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) has begun a month-long intensive farm inspection campaign.
About 500 inspections are planned, with a focus on safe working at height.
Of 21 people killed up to last week in 2017, due to farm accidents, three were as the result of falls from height, or falling objects. This month, inspectors from the HSA will be encouraging farmers to ensure they have the right equipment and knowledge to work at height safely. Pat Griffin, senior inspector with the HSA, said: “Most agricultural roofs are made from fragile materials such as galvanised sheeting or Perspex and working on these is extremely risky and should be avoided if possible. We are urging farmers to find ways to replace roof fixings from underneath using work platforms. If the work can’t be done from underneath, use a mobile elevated work platform that allows access without having to stand on the roof itself. “Also, ladders, if used, must be tied or footed, to avoid slipping, and should only be used for a short duration.”
Mr Griffin said items stored at height can be a danger as well: “We also want to highlight the dangers of falling objects such as bales and bagged silage.” Farmers are advised not to undertake any roof work unless competent to do so; to risk assess all work at height; and select suitable equipment, for example, a mobile elevated work platform. Information is available free from the HSA’s www.hsa.ie website, on safe operating procedures with mobile elevated work platforms; and the HSA code of practice for safety in roof work, and an information sheet on using ladders safely.