The principle driver of good health and safety management on farms is taking on-going preventative action.
Professor Stephan Van den Brouke, Head of Health Psychology and Prevention at the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium, and key note speaker at the National Farm Health and Safety Conference said this at the annual conference hosted by the Health and Safety Authority and Teagasc, supported by the Farm Safety Partnership and sponsored by FBD Insurance.
His presentation was based on research on the Theory of Planned Behaviour among Belgian farmers as it relates to safe machinery use, animal handling, fall prevention and pesticide use.
The study strongly indicated that gaining farmers’ intention to act and feeling that implementation was within their control explained 56-70% of farmer behaviour change.
“It is clear from world-wide research that farmers having knowledge of health and safety controls is not sufficient to gain their implementation. Influencing the behavioural determinants such as farmer attitudes and social acceptance of risk taking has the potential to greatly increase the effectiveness of a health and safety programme,” he said.
Rushing was identified as a major cause of farm accidents on large scale farms in a recent National Farm Survey of Farm Accidents.