Farming

Health and Safety Farm Inspections to begin next week

Fiona Heavey

Reporter:

Fiona Heavey

Health and Safety Farm Inspections to begin next week

HSA farm inspections to begin next week

The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) will begin a two-week long intensive farm inspection campaign on Tuesday  May 8. 

Approximately 200 inspections are planned across all counties with the focus on safe working with vehicles and machinery.

Farm vehicles and machinery are the main cause of serious and fatal accidents on Irish farms. Over the last 10 years, half of all fatal farm accidents involved vehicles (30%) and machinery (20%). Farm vehicles are generally defined as tractors or quad bikes. In recent years there has been a sharp increase in the number of fatalities involving quad bikes, with 12 reported in the past 10 years (4 in 2017).

Most accidents with farm vehicles or machinery will involve at least one of the following; poor planning, operator error, lack of training and inadequate maintenance of vehicle or machine.

The key message during this campaign is that preparation is the key to working safely, particularly during busy periods such as the silage season.  This involves looking at the suitability of operators, the machinery and how the work is to be done.

On a practical level the HSA are asking farmers to consider the following;

- Are handbrakes or parking brakes working on all tractors and machinery?
- Are cabs and doors maintained in working order?
- Are tractor mirrors set and maintained correctly (not cracked or twisted)?
- Has the driver ever received formal driver training for tractor or quad bike use?

For more information on safe working with farm vehicles or machinery visit www.hsa.ie