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IFA’s Health and Safety Executive, William Shortall has urged farmers to take safety precautions when undertaking the spreading of slurry. As of yesterday (13 January) farmers in certain areas of the country are able to commence spreading. The main hazards associated with slurry are toxic slurry gas, slurry tank and lagoon openings and the slurry spreader PTO shaft.

“Spreading slurry is potentially one of the most hazardous activities that a farmer undertakes. The two main risks that present are drowning and gas poisoning. We are urging farmers not to take unnecessary risks and follow simple steps to ensure their own safety and that of their animals,” said William Shortall.

Steps farmers should take include;

• Make sure all children and pets are kept secure and away from the farmyard
• Only agitate on a windy day
• Open all shed doors and shutters to allow airflow through the shed being agitated
• After starting agitating leave the area for 30 min to allow slurry gases to dissipate
• Recover agitating points when not in use

Further information is also available on the Health & Safety Authority website.

Commenting on the figures released today by the Health & Safety Authority, IFA’s Health & Safety Executive William Shortall said 2019 would see the rollout of IFA’s peer-to-peer farm safety learning initiative.

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IFA Deputy President Richard Kennedy has described the unprovoked and violent attack on a farmer in north Dublin as disgraceful and very worrying. He said that the victim could have been seriously injured or killed.

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The Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) and Irish Cancer Society have joined forces as part of UK and Ireland Farm Safety Week to remind farmers and farm families of the importance of protecting their skin to reduce the risk of skin cancer.

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Today (Friday), IFA and Teagasc are challenging farmers to think about improving livestock handling systems to make them safer and more efficient.

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