Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Farm Safety day at Kilcullen Mart

Declan Phelan, IFA regional development officer; with Caroline Farrell of the IFA Farm Family Committee, organiser of the Farm Safety Event.
An important farm and rural area safety demonstration is taking place today at Kilcullen Cattle Mart, writes Brian Byrne.

It involves a number of agencies, including the IFA, the Department of Agriculture, the Irish Red Cross, An Garda, and the County Kildare Fire Service.

With the number of deaths due to farm accidents at 15 to date, it is a worrying increase on last year for the same period, says the IFA's regional development officer Declan Phelan, who is attending today's event.

"In many cases it is machinery and age-related, older farmers using larger equipment," he told the Diary today. "The age profile on small farms is now much older, with few younger people coming in. In many cases, the farmer is working on his own, with a heavier workload. And if an accident happens, with nobody around to help, a relatively smaller one can become more serious very quickly."

In the absence of other staff on farms, farmers are using more sophisticated and heavier machinery, including combines, choppers and hay balers, all of which provide inherent dangers such as catching clothing or limbs in the machinery, too often with fatal consequences.

Caroline Farrell of the IFA Farm Family Committee says this is an important local initiative being held as part of Farm Safety Week. "I helped to organise the one for Kildare to run with the Mart in Kilcullen, as a central focus for farming in the area."

Among the various demonstrations will be a demonstration by Lift Hire on how to work safely at heights. The Garda will talk about issues of weights on trailers on the road among other matters, and the Irish Red Cross will demonstrate what to to and, equally important, what not to do, in an accident situation.

The Diary will be dropping in and out of the event and we'll bring you more on this later.