21 Feb NISO Farm Safety seminars
Successful NISO seminars held recently in Loughrea and Castlebar.
NISO Farm Safety seminars informs participants of the dangers posed to the farming community and practical controls to avoid/reduce the risks. The seminars, hosted by the Western Region of the National Irish Safety Organisation (NISO), included a number of renown speakers and took place in both Castlebar and Loughrea in February.
Peter Gohery, a farmer and farm accident victim, began the seminar by speaking about his own experience of a farm accident involving a PTO shaft and the impact it had on his life. It can often be very easy to overlook safety controls on the farm and this was the basis for the presentation delivered by John McNamara, National Health and Safety Officer at Teagasc. McNamara demonstrated how necessary safety controls can be identified for the farm by using the Agriculture Code of Practice, which allows farmers and/or their family to create risk assessments and prepare a safety statement for their farm.
Lone working and stress are issues encountered by the farming community and Chris McCormack, Lecturer at Athlone Institute of Technology, told delegates how these issues can effect our health. McCormack told delegates to avoid lone working if possible and to ensure you are physically and mentally fit for work before engaging with a task.
Agriculture accounted for more workplace fatalities than any other sector in the last four years, this is just one alarming statistic presented by Ciarán Roche, Risk Manager at FBD. Slips, trips and falls are the main cause of farm accidents while tractors and vehicles are the main reason for farm fatalities. Roche also informed delegates of available tractor skills training, safety signs, safety dvds and the FBD farm multiperil policy.
According to Professor Michael J Hynes, National University of Ireland, Galway, the information on a chemical container’s label is critical for farmers. Professor Hynes told delegates the 16 headings required on a safety data sheet and displayed the hazard symbols and pictograms that accompany the chemical label. Professor Hynes also informed delegates of controls to take, such as personal protective equipment, when using chemicals and how to ensure the safe storage of chemicals on the farm, including the importance of keeping chemicals in their original containers and not pouring them into smaller bottles.
The seminar was closed by Pat Griffin, Senior Inspector with the Health and Safety Authority, who spoke on inspection requirements and action farmers should take to ensure their farm is a safe place of work.