The Irish Farmers Association and the Farm & Forestry Contractors in Ireland (FCI) have come together to draw up a protocol for farms where contractors are working.
IFA President Tim Cullinan said it’s very important that the strictest adherence to the HSE guidelines on COVID19 are in place for both farmers and contractors.
“Given the scale of work on farms at the moment, there’s a duty on everybody to co-operate and observe the guidelines. The safety and welfare of all persons working on a farm has to be paramount,” he said.
“Farm and Forestry Contractors will play their important part in ensuring that crops are planted and fertilizer and slurry is spread in a timely way, as well as crops harvested, during the current COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak,” said Richard White, National Chairman of the Association of Farm & Forestry Contractors in Ireland (FCI).
“As the health and welfare of our machine operators and our customers is our priority, we are requesting that all work instructions are now given over the phone or by email, using texting and smartphone technology to ensure that field work is carried out efficiently while adhering to the HSE personal safety guidelines,” he added.
“We are also urging all livestock and dairy farmer customers to roll their silage ground as soon as conditions allow so that when the silage harvest is in full swing there are less stoppages due to unnecessary machine breakages. We are concerned that machine parts availability may be a problem, depending on the length of the COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak, so we all need to work together to minimise machine risk in these challenging times,” he added.