November 17, 2017
HSA National Conference on Farm Safety & Health

Health and Safety Authority National Conference on Farm Safety and Health with the theme “Protecting your Life and Livelihood” took place on Friday 17th November at the Auburn Lodge Hotel in Ennis. It was encouraging to see that the conference was extremely well attended by the farming sector. Pat Breen TD, Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection made the opening address focusing on the disproportionate number of deaths in the farming sector pointing out that farm workers were 10 times more likely to die in the workplace than in any other employment sector.  He revealed that to date this year, twenty one people have lost their lives in farm accidents; that is twenty one families touched by tragedy.  Minister Breen drew attention to the recent ESRI Report entitled “Risk Taking and Accidents on Irish Farms”.  This  examined a number of different types of risks that farmers take and revealed some startling results and trends.  For example 1 in 4 farmers had experienced near misses in the previous 10 years and  1 in 8 had experienced accidents. Worryingly only half the farmers who experienced a farm  accident made changes to avoid future accidents with the other half reverting to their old methods of work.