Stay safe

Irish Examiner - Farming - - COVER STORY -

To my mind, the least cared for and most overused part of the farmer’s anatomy is the head. And I’m not talk­ing here about bangs, scrapes and bruises, but of men­tal well­be­ing.

We op­er­ate in a en­vi­ron­ment of dead­lines, bank over­drafts, pro­ce­dures, pro­to­cols, co-op bills, red tape, phys­i­cal and tax­ing farm work, and of course (for the past 12 months with­out a break!) weather con­straints.

Many of us will also work off the farm, as we strive to keep our­selves above wa­ter and strive to keep this farm­ing tra­di­tion alive.

At Tul­lam­ore Show next Sun­day, the Farm Safety Live Event (or­gan­ised by FRS Train­ing, HSA and FBD In­sur­ance) might per­haps seem to be fo­cused more on the phys­i­cal dan­gers that ex­ist on our farms (live­stock han­dling, quad bike oper­a­tion, trac­tor safety and PTO oper­a­tion), but there’s lit­tle doubt that a farmer’s men­tal well-be­ing will also be high on the agenda. Vice Pres­i­dent of the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment Mairead McGuin­ness will of­fi­cially launch the Farm Safety Live event at 11am. Speak­ing ear­lier this year in the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment on farmer wel­fare, the MEP had this to say, “Many farm­ers that I meet would say that the Euro­pean Union cares more about an­i­mals than hu­mans. “We should ac­knowl­edge that hu­man wel­fare is also very im­por­tant on our farms and for our farm fam­i­lies. “I think we should ac­knowl­edge the men­tal pres­sures and the phys­i­cal toll that it takes on them, and that very of­ten when we talk here in these rooms about im­pos­ing more stan­dards on them, we ne­glect to look at how this im­pacts on those in­di­vid­u­als and farm fam­i­lies.” Ciaran Roche, Risk Man­ager, FBD In­sur­ance, says, “Farm­ers ev­ery­where can join with us to prevent ac­ci­dents and hope­fully save lives by at­tend­ing events such as Farm Safety Live and by fol­low­ing our Farm Pro­tect ini­tia­tive.

“Chang­ing our usual way of do­ing things can be chal­leng­ing, but be­cause farm­ing is a tough and de­mand­ing oc­cu­pa­tion with plenty of work­place haz­ards, it’s time to stop tak­ing risks, and time to prevent any un­nec­es­sary heartache.”

— De­nis Le­hane

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