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Minister Smith draws attention of Farming Sector to European Farm Safety Week 2010

European Safety Week 2010 takes place on the week beginning October 25th and the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Brendan Smith TD, is calling on everyone in the farming sector to put farm safety and health on top of their agenda.

Minister Smith is very concerned that 23 people have lost their lives in agriculture and forestry related activities so far in 2010. This equates to 60% of the total workplace fatalities for all sectors in the corresponding period. The Minister would like to express his "sincere sympathies to all the families and communities affected by these tragedies".  

Farmers are exposed to safety and health risks on a daily basis; from working with livestock, driving tractors, operating machinery, chainsaws and other power tools to tripping and falling from heights. The Minister urges farmers to take time and assess all the risks involved with their day to day work load and to plan health and safety into their daily farm work routines.

Working with livestock is one of the main farming activities associated with fatal and non-fatal accidents. The Minister is appealing to farmers to take particular care at this time of the year when animals are being housed, loaded into trailers and weaned". He stressed the importance "for all animal handling facilities and pens to be properly designed and that gates and doors in animal houses and around the farmyard are properly hung and secured".

The Minister again reiterated his full support for the farm safety and health initiatives being undertaken by the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) and the Farm Safety Partnership Advisory Committee.

He reminded farmers "that it is a legal requirement to complete the Farm Safety Code Risk Assessment Document".  This document was sent to all farmers in November 2006, alternatively log on to www.farmsafely.com  to complete the document online.

Date Released: 25 October 2010