IFA has launched a new farm safety campaign – SAVE LIVES – to raise awareness of the dangers of working on the farm and to encourage farmers to always think safety first. SAVE LIVES is an acronym of safety messages to think safety when farming.
The safety messages are carried throughout the 2015 IFA Calendar, launched this week, as well as on new ‘SAVE LIVES’ pens, which will be distributed through IFA meetings and events over the coming months in order to keep safety at the front of minds. A number of events and initiatives as part of the SAVE LIVES campaign are planned for the year ahead.
Eddie Downey, IFA President said that the messages in the SAVE LIFES campaign hope to encourage farmers to change their working practices, to be more responsive to the potential dangers and to take preventative action to reduce the risks.
“I am asking all farm families to take action today to make their farms a safer place to work. The best way to reduce accidents and fatalities is to update your Farm Safety statement, this will help you identify the risks and to put in place appropriate control measures”, said Mr. Downey.
Maura Canning, IFA Farm Family & Social Affairs Chairwoman said that farm safety must be the top priority on Irish farms. Too many of the accidents taking place could be avoided if farmers adhered to safer working practices.
“There are 27 farm families that have lost a family member so far this year in farm accidents, 27 farm families that now have to deal with devastating consequences of the death of a loved one”, said Mrs. Canning. “Not to mention all the farm families that are coming to terms with life after a serious injury”.
Mr. Downey said that the IFA is steadfast in its belief that awareness and education are the best way to reduce farm accidents and fatalities. We will continue to work with our members to bring about a real change in behaviour in farm safety with campaigns like SAVE LIVES.
“I strongly believe that the decision by the Health and Safety Authority to threaten farmers with prosecution is counterproductive to improving Ireland’s farm safety record.”