Friday, July 20, 2018

Emma is a 'face of farm safety'

Local girl Emma Birchall is one of the 'Faces of Farm Safety' headlining a range of farm safety issues during this Farm Safety Week UK & Ireland, writes Brian Byrne.

Emma, the 2017 Macra na Feirme Queen of the Land, emphasises that people impacted by a farm accident should talk to the people who are there to help. In particular, she notes the dangers posed by poor mental health. "Poor mental health can effect physical capabilities on the farm and this is when accidents happen," she says.

Under the social media hashtag #FacesofFarmSafety, she joins Ciaran Roche of FBD Insurance, who encourages farmers to ensure machinery is in good and safe condition; Imelda Walsh of the Irish Farmers' Association who warns about the dangers of livestock; and Joe Killeen, President of the INTO, who shares his farm safety message in a focus on child safety.

Paddy Hennessy of Glanbia and Mairead McGuinness MEP, and Helen Guinan of The Irish Farm Centre are other 'faces' of the campaign, as is Tommy Boland UCD School of Agriculture & Food Science, who asks farmers to 'always reflect on the risks before undertaking any task'. "Life holds too many opportunities to risk missing out on them because you are rushing," he says.

Last year, 24 people lost their lives in farm accidents in Ireland, and so far this year the death toll is 11.

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