FRS Farm Safety
The Importance of Farm Safety
The Agriculture and Forestry industry is known for its high rates of fatalities and serious injuries. It ranks among one of the most dangerous professions in Ireland.
With 5% of the national workforce working in agriculture, this sector continues to have one of the poorest safety records in Ireland. In 2020, 23 farm workplace related deaths have occurred.
Being aware of farm safety and undertaking the necessary training can help farmers, farming families, farm visitors and farm workers stay safe.
FRS Farm Relief are dedicated to helping make Irish farms a safer place to work.
FRS Farm Safety Articles
- Stay Safe When Spraying
- Top Ten Safe Tractor Driving Tips
- ATV Operation, Maintenance and Safety Training
- Communicating Effective and Easily with Farm Staff and Contractors
- Stay Safe While Working At Heights
- Safety Comes First When Covering Silage Pits
- Be Aware Of The Dangers Of Working With Livestock
- Stay Safe While Agitating
- Keeping Your Farm Safe at Christmas
Farm Safety Resouces
- The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) is the national body in Ireland with responsibility for occupational health and safety. With farming classified as a high-risk occupation, they have a full section on their website dedicated to Agriculture & Forestry. Click here to read.
- AgriAware is an Irish agri-food educational body funded by the Irish farming and agri-food industry. They have helpful information specifically tailored to children of all ages. Click here to read.
- Teagasc is known for providing research, advice and education in agriculture, horticulture, food and rural development in Ireland. They also have helpful information about farming and resources for children.
Stay Safe While Working With Animals
- Always make sure handlers are competent and agile.
- Work out an escape route or refuge in advance of working with cattle.
- Watch for warning signs of animal aggressiveness, especially bulls and newly calved cows.
- Do not stress or arouse cattle unnecessarily.
- Keep ground surfaces clean, as far as possible.
- Regularly check and maintain facilities such as the crush, gate latches and fences.
Stay Safe While Working With Machines
- Make sure that the machine is in a safe operating condition. All guards and safety devices must be in place and functioning correctly.
- When attaching a machine, take the correct position in order to avoid getting crushed.
- All power take-off (PTO) drive shafts must be fully guarded by enclosing them along their full length from the tractor to the first bearing on the machine.
- Do not carry passengers except when correct seating is provided. Never carry passengers on the tractor linkage or on the drawbar of the trailer.
Stay Safe While Driving
- Carry out daily checks on your tractor before you drive it to ensure everything is in working order.
- Always practice the Safe Stop procedure.
- Carry out the Safe Tractor Position Method. Use access steps and hand supports, adjust seat position to operate controls comfortably and adjust mirror for clear view.
- Always keep floors, doors, pedals clear and keep your boots clean.
- When in the tractor and carrying out work always make sure the terrain is free from hazards such as steep slopes, excavations and power lines.
Stay Safe At Slurry
- Evacuate all livestock and make sure no person or animal is in or near the building.
- Never enter the slurry tank or any confined space unless you are wearing suitable breathing apparatus and/ or a harness attached to a lifeline controlled by at least two other adults positioned outside of the area.
- Use outdoor agitation points where possible – one lung-full of slurry gas can kill. Evacuate and ventilate before you agitate
- Never stand over slats or near tank access points when agitation is in progress.
- Put up warning signs to warn of the dangers when working with slurry.
Keeping Children & Elderly Safe on the Farm
- A farm is not a playground, children must be supervised at all times.
- Older farmers/farm visitors should be aware that ageing affects mobility, eyesight and balance.
- Action should be taken to keep children/elderly away from dangerous areas. Use appropriate signage.
- Always let the farmer know if you plan to visit the farm.
- Farm visitors should not be allowed near dangerous animals such as bulls, stallions, rams, stags and female animals with new-born young.
Farm & Farm Worker Health
- Get regular health checks to monitor your general health and physical well-being. Do not ignore any pain/soreness.
- Avoid trips and falls by keeping the farm yard tidy.
- Always let someone know what jobs you are going to do and how long you expect they will take. Always carry a fully charged mobile phone.
- It is important to recognise signs of stress and seek professional help. Contact FRS Farm Relief to help with farm aid.
- Get extra, experienced help during the busy periods of the year.