Farm safety continues to be a huge issue on farms nationwide and with 22 fatalities recorded in 2011, Agri Aware says farm safety is now a priority on all farms in Co Longford and that children should be aware of the dangers on farms. With summer season in full swing, more and more children will be out and about on family farms as the busy season begins, and organisations across the board are calling for vigilance and safety at all times as they join forces for a new initiative aimed at farm safety.
Agri Aware, in association with FBD, the IFA and ESB Networks created a Farm and Countryside Safety educational initiative - which will run from May to December 2012 – and launched by Shane McEntee TD, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine in Family Farm, last week. It is hoped that the initiative will increase awareness of the potential dangers on the farm and subsequently reduce the number of farm accidents in 2012.
All primary schools will receive a Farm and Countryside Safety pack over the next week or so. The pack includes a safety awareness poster and a farm safety trail that can be completed either in Family Farm or online at www.thefamilyfarm.ie There will be plenty of prizes on offer for completed trails and the pack also includes details of Agri Aware’s safety calendar competition, which challenges students to draw or paint a picture that depicts farm safety. A selection of entries will then be exhibited in the Family Farm classroom with the 12 winning entries featuring in Agri Aware’s Farm and Countryside safety calendar for 2013, which will be distributed to primary schools across the country in December 2012.
Speaking at last week’s launch, Minister McEntee highlighted the “high rate” of serious accidents on farms compared to that of other industries. “Statistics show that accidents on farms cause more workplace deaths than all other occupations combined,” he added. “It is also clear that the most vulnerable people to accidents and injury in the farming sector are the old and the young. This is an issue that can only be tackled by education and raising awareness within the farming community.”