Farm safety is too important to put on the long finger, IFA Farm Family Chairperson Maura Canning said at a Women in Agriculture Conference, hosted by the Irish Farmers Journal, in Meath today: “Safety needs to be a central concern when working on the farm, built in to every action, each and every day.
Speaking about the number of farm accidents and fatalities this year, Maura Canning said: “The statistics are very shocking, and very sad. But they highlight exactly why farm families need to take immediate action on farm safety. To put it bluntly, we need to make farms safer places today, because tomorrow might be too late.”
That’s the message we need to reiterate to bring about behaviour change, she said, “Farm work is busy, stressful, physically difficult and can take place in very poor weather. It is easy to understand why farm safety might slip down the priority list in such conditions. We need to bring about behaviour change to make sure it stays front and centre.”
“Awareness campaigns are working, but the challenge now is to actually change behaviour and tackle the ‘It won’t happen to me’ attitude. The truth is, it could happen to anybody and that is why all farm families should do their utmost to protect themselves by being aware of risks, taking action to minimise dangers, being vigilant at all times, and building safety into the farm work mindset.”
“Funding for farm safety improvements on the farm announced in the Budget is very welcome and I hope it will encourage farm families to not only to undertake any necessary upgrades or improvements but to also think carefully about safety on the farm and where there is scope for behaviour change.”