‘Don’t wait for an audit to bring
STATISTICALLY, accidents within the agricultural industry exceed all other sectors. These numbers will continue to rise if attitudes to farm safety do not change.
That’s the message from Finbarr Walsh of Capita Customer Solutions which has been conducting independent audits for Bord Bia since 2006.
“It is up to each and every one of us to ensure our farm is a safe place, not just for when the Bord Bia audit takes place, but at all times,” he said at the event on the Murphy’s farm.
While a large majority of the 23,000 farms inspected annually are found to be fully compliant when it comes to safety, some of the main areas where people fall down on audits include PTO shafts being left uncovered, exposed slurry lagoons, and inadequate chemical storage.
“The Risk Assessment Document provided by the Health and Safety Authority is a legal requirement and therefore it is so important that this is filled out and up-to-date,” he said. “The HSA requires that it is updated every 12 months or more regularly if a farmer buys new machinery, for example.”
Farmers are also advised to include details of any potential natural hazards, such as steep hills, or rough terrain, which may prove problematic for themselves or contractors.
Figures show that accidents involving farm machinery accounted for some 21 fatalities in 2016 compared to 18 in 2015.
Between 2007 and 2016, 197 people lost their lives