The Minister of State with responsibility for Farm Safety, Martin Heydon TD and Chief Executive Officer of the Health and Safety Authority, Dr Sharon McGuinness, today jointly launched an online Tractor Safety Awareness Training Course, in conjunction with the Irish Farmers Journal.
With the ongoing level of fatal injuries involving farm machinery, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, the Health and Safety Authority and the Irish Farmers Journal have jointly developed an online Tractor Safety Awareness Training course.
Referring to the initiative, Minister Heydon stated:
"This online course is a great opportunity for all those working with farm machinery to refresh their skills. It can provide a reminder for experienced operators as well as a grounding for young people starting out with farm machinery."
Dr Sharon McGuinness said:
"Farmers must invest time for training for themselves, their families and others who work on their farm. Tractors and other vehicles were involved in 50% of all farm fatalities over the last 10 years. I would ask farmers to get online and complete this Tractor Safety Awareness Training course. And make sure to get any young person who lives and works with you to complete it too. What you learn on the course can keep you and your loved ones safe now and in years to come."
Justin McCarthy, Editor of the Irish Farmer’s Journal said:
"We all have a responsibility both to ourselves and our families to farm safely. I would urge all farmers and their families to take this interactive course to help remind them of the proper practices and procedures that need to be undertaken before operating any type of machinery."
The course is aimed primarily at young people starting out who drive tractors on farms and highlights the daily safety elements that need to be considered. It can also be used as a good refresher for other ages too.
Farm safety is an ongoing issue and it is important that farmers think Safety First in all the tasks they perform, no matter the pressure. It is only through behavioural change and farmers calling each other out on unsafe practices that incident rates will fall. Ultimately a change in mindset by individual farmers will be the greatest influencer in reducing injuries and fatalities.