Farm Safety Week has certainly entered the general consciousness this week.
Podcasts, news interviews and stories being shared across social media mean there’s no escaping the message, which is to “rethink risk”.
Martin Heydon, the Minister of State with responsibility for farm safety, has also been getting in on the act, sharing videos daily.
The fact that these are from the field or tractor cab makes them very accessible to farmers.
The messages he is sharing such as “tiredness kills” and the true cost of taking shortcuts when it comes to safety aren’t novel, but the awful truth is that people who are losing their lives to farm accidents are almost always doing so in depressingly familiar ways.
A memorial tractor run held in Co Meath on Sunday 11 July raised over €10,000 for Embrace Farm
And, similarly, the hundreds of serious injuries from farm accidents that present every year in accident and emergency departments around the country will be familiar to the doctors and nurses who come to the assistance of the injured.
Some events being held by the farming community are serving the dual purpose of raising awareness and funding for important charities.
A memorial tractor run held in Co Meath on Sunday 11 July raised over €10,000 for Embrace Farm. The charity is a very worthy cause offering support services to the families and friends of those affected by farming accidents.
The tractor run remembered the late Thomas Dunne of Kellystown, Slane, who tragically lost his life in a farm safety incident last year.
The total sum of €10,989.60 was raised by the tractor run
A convoy of approximately 300 tractors, lorries, vintage cars and bikes took part in the event, which received strong backing from local communities.
Farmers from Meath, Louth, Cavan, Monaghan, Dublin and indeed further afield supported the fundraiser.
The total sum of €10,989.60 was raised by the tractor run.
Then there is the “Eleven peaks in eleven weeks” Macra fundraiser for the Munster Air Ambulance. This challenge was taken up by Macra Munster vice-president Elaine Houlihan and her immediate predecessor, Seán Wallace, with the pair joined by others as they tackled Munster highpoints from Coumshingaun Lake in the Comeragh mountians in Waterford to Carrauntoohill, the country’s highest peak, on Wednesday (21 July).
A quick trawl through social media finds messages and videos from England and Australia
For people in more remote areas, the air ambulance could make the difference in terms of accessing emergency services in time. Kudos to Elaine and Seán, who are closing in on the goal of raising €3,500.
And it’s global. A quick trawl through social media finds messages and videos from England and Australia. As with so many things, when it comes to farm safety, farmers across the world have more in common than we might first realise.
Stay safe out there.