‘Don’t wait for an au­dit to bring

Irish Independent - Farming - - FEATURE -

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

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