Fianna Fáil Seanad Spokesperson on Agriculture, Food and Marine Senator Paul Daly has called on the Government to renew its effort in promoting safe practice on farms across Ireland. Senator Daly made the call during Farm Safety Week after securing a special debate in the Seanad on the matter.
“Farming continues to be the most dangerous occupation in Ireland. Official figures from the HSE show that there were 18 deaths in the agriculture sector last year. Great strides have been made in reducing the number of farm accidents in recent years, but it’s clear that we still have a long way to go when it comes to promoting farm safety,” said Senator Daly.
“Farms are dangerous by their very nature due to the presence of machinery, and children are particularly vulnerable. Farmers and their families are also at risk of being injured by livestock and falling from dangerous heights. These are the three main risks which farmers have to overcome on a daily basis. There needs to be a greater awareness of these risks amongst the farming community, and the Government has a role to play in facilitating safer farm practices.
“Fianna Fáil believes more can be done to promote farm safety through education campaigns and the provision of financial assistance to help farmers eliminate hazards in their workplace. The Department of Agriculture should also provide expert advice to farmers on how they can go about carrying out an in-depth safety audit of their farm. If farmers are aware of the dangers in their surroundings then they can take action to eliminate these risks.
“We must also ensure that farm safety grants continue to be paid on time so that farmers get the assistance they need to protect themselves from dangerous hazards. The Government has had successes in promoting farm safety in recent years, and now we need to build on that legacy,” said Senator Daly.