Following the release of the latest figures of work related fatalities by the Health and Safety Authority, which saw farm fatalities represent 41% of total fatalities, the IFA’s Health & Safety Executive William Shortall has announced the rollout of IFA’s peer-to-peer farm safety learning initiative in 2019.
Mr Shorthall said: “There were 15 farm fatalities in 2018, which is a stark message that we have more to do in this area. The peer-to-peer initiative is about encouraging farmers to undertake practical measures that will reduce the risk on their own farm”.
IFA is using the branch structure within its 29 County Executives to pilot the peer-to-peer farm safety learning initiative. IFA has visited over 60 farms and visits have already taken place in counties Tipperary, Clare, Wexford, Kildare and Limerick during the last three months of 2018.
The groups are between three and five members. The group meets in one particular yard where a discussion takes place of any ‘near miss’ which may have occurred in the last 12 to 18 months. There is also an overview given of who lives and works on the farm and what activities take place on the farmyard and a walk of the farm then takes place. A particular focus is given to:
- Livestock housing and handling unit;
- Farmyard; and
The farmer is also given a ‘pros and cons’ document to fill out based on what the group observe around the farm. The farmer then chooses one item or behaviour they will change before the group reconvenes. This process is repeated on each of the individual farms in the group.