The Crops & Spreaders open day takes place this Wednesday 26 June in Oak Park, Co Carlow.

In addition to the live fertiliser spreader demonstrations, trade stands and over 30 research and advisory stands, an important element of this year’s event is the focus on farm safety.

Safety demonstration

In this year’s main demonstration area, run by the Teagasc and Irish Farmers Journal, Teagasc will hold a safety demonstration.

The demonstration takes place against the background of increased farm deaths so far in 2019.

According to provisional Health & Safety Authority (HSA) figures, 10 farm deaths have occurred to date compared with 16 in total in 2018, including one timber-related fatality.

The Teagasc National Farm Survey (NFS) in 2018 showed that levels of serious non-fatal farm accidents causing injury also rose, with an increase of 13% compared with a previous survey in 2012.

Teagasc health and safety specialist adviser Dr John McNamara said: “It is vital to give farm safety top priority over the summer months when accidents tend to peak.”

Recent trends showed that 17% of annual farm fatalities occurred in July, making it the most dangerous month of the year.

Crops & Spreaders

At the Crops & Spreaders open day, there will be a particular focus on safe handling of large fertiliser bags and safe machine operation.

The Teagasc NFS indicated that the majority of accidents on tillage farms are associated with machinery (28%), trips, falls and blows (16%), along with livestock (28%) on mixed tillage/ livestock farms and other accidents (28%).

There will also be a focus on farmer health issues, such as the prevention of musculoskeletal disorders.

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Crops & Spreaders 2019 takes place next week

Tillage management: crop season almost at an end for inputs