Farm Safety Week 2021 at Safety Direct
This year's Farm Safety Week takes place from 19th - 23rd July, and aims to reduce the number of farm accidents by raising awareness and promoting safe practices. Held annually and led by the IFA in Ireland and supported by organisations such as the Yellow Wellies in the UK, the HSA, Teagasc and members of the Farm Safety Partnership Advisory Committee, this year's theme is "Rethink Safety".
Aside from aiming to reduce the number of accidents and fatalities that occur on farms each year, one of Farm Safety Week's main objectives is to bring about cultural change that makes unsafe farm practice socially unacceptable. Often, farmers may not fully recognise risks on their farms and could pass on practices to others that, unbeknownst to them, could lead to serious consequences. This year's theme of "Rethink Safety" underlines the importance of constantly being aware of potential hazards and dangers and not becoming complacent whilst working on the farm.
Personal safety measures that a farmer can take include:
- Ensure that the correct protective equipment - ear protection, eye protection, gloves, head protection, hi-visibility clothing and safety footwear - are always at hand for use
- Always carry a mobile phone and inform someone on where you will be and what time you will return at
- Regularly service vehicles and machinery to ensure that they are working to their maximum efficiency
- Always perform a risk assessment before engaging in any tasks
The following external factors pose a risk while working on farms:
- Machinery: Vehicles and Machinery are responsible for 50% of all farm deaths. To avoid dangers, it is important to ensure that workers receive full training, that vehicles are maintained regularly, and that the machinery used is suitable for the task. Crucially, it is vital that helmets are always worn.
- Working at a Height: Falls and collapses account for 17% of all farm deaths. Before engaging in any tasks at a height, it is important to pause and think about the various elements of the job; how to carry it out safely, the need for appropriate safety equipment, and the risk of working on fragile and unstable roofs or overloading / overreaching.
- Livestock: Livestock account for 20% of all farm fatalities, while about a quarter of non fatal accidents are animal related. The greatest risk occurs when animals are being moved, separated or released. It is vital for farmers to protect themselves with good facilities when working with livestock of any herd size. Signage, to alert others to the presence of bulls in particular, is important to use.
- Slurry: Working with slurry is a particularly dangerous activity. There is a risk of drowning in a slurry tank and a risk of asphyxiation by the toxic gases released from the slurry in storage. Suitable breathing apparatus should always be worn while working with slurry, with all doors and outlets kept open to provide a draught. Children and elderly persons should always be kept away from the area when agitating. One breath or lung-full when slurry has a high level of hydrogen sulphide can cause instant death.
Additionally, open slurry tanks should be protected by an unclimbable fence or wall at least 1.8 metres high, with locked gates. Between 2000-2010, 30% of child fatalities on farms were caused by drowning in slurry or water. All slurry tank manhole openings should be covered. Consider fitting a safety grid below the access manhole for secondary protection.
Safety Direct stocks a wide variety of Farm Safety products from the world's leading suppliers across a range of categories, such as Personal Protection, Clothing, Footwear and Safety Signage. For the duration of Farm Safety Week, use code FARMSAFETY10 for a 10% discount on Farm Safety Signs. For any queries, contact our Sales Team on +353 (0) 91 745150 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org