400 farm safety inspections
The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) began 400 planned farm inspections this week, focusing on safe working with livestock. Areas being assessed include; Is an adequate physical barrier established between the farmer and freshly calved cow when treating or handling calves?
Is there an escape plan for animal birthing activity?
Is there ongoing investment in animal handling facilities, for example, crush, head scoop and calving gate?
Are facilities and procedures adequate for loading and unloading animals?
The HSA said calving gates ensure safety and reduce stress on farmers and the animal, and also recommended to farmers to have well positioned lights around the farmyard to improve visibility and safety. The 400 inspection visits will be followed by a farm vehicle safety campaign in May, and the focus will be on safe working at heights in October.
A free Safe Handling of Cattle on Farms document is available on the Authority’s www.hsa.ie website.
It includes the advice that a cow’s maternal instinct kicks in some hours before calving and may last for several days, and any cow can attack with a speed that may make it impossible to escape in time. The maternal instinct is simply there for the cow to protect its calf, always consider safety and the risk of attack.
Risk is highest when treating the calf, as it may bawl, alerting the cow to attack. Carrier. “The beef industry should be aiming to export around 150,000 calves this season in order to sustain the sector. Anything less could threaten the viability of beef prices into the future,” said Mr Cahill.
The Stena Carrier: will enable livestock exports on the Rosslare to Cherbourg route.