A new European Innovation Project is aiming to change farmers attitudes and behaviours in relation to farm safety.
The Farmers4Safety Managing Risk Together project began last November. So far, 139 farmers and farm families have directly engaged with the project and 87 surveys on attitudes have been carried out.
Farmers4Safety is adopting a peer-to-peer mentoring approach to try to engage farmers and tackle and improve the social norms around farm safety and emotional wellbeing.
Niamh Nolan heads up the project and explained that the majority of farm fatalities and injuries on farms are avoidable.
Extreme pressures within the agriculture sector has led to farmers experiencing stress, anxiety, fatigue and financial pressures
“This project will highlight the importance of farm safety, health and wellbeing on family farms.
“Extreme pressures within the agriculture sector has led to farmers experiencing stress, anxiety, fatigue and financial pressures and this, in turn, can lead to an incident or a fatality occurring.
“This Farm Safety EIP AGRI project indicates the importance of farmers looking after their own health and wellbeing and ensuring they are not risking their safety in carrying out jobs on the farm,” she added.
Six part-time farm mentors started to work on the ground in March carrying out surveys and their job will be to highlight the different support mechanisms available to farmers and farm families.
They will provide up-to date information on farm safety, health and wellbeing, while working with farmers and farm families to tackle social isolation and find innovative ways to tackle issues faced by farmers and farm families.
The aim is to ensure that no one in the community is left behind and that there is a safety, health and wellbeing network
From the outset, the aim is to ensure that no one in the community is left behind and that there is a safety, health and wellbeing network.
A buddy system will also be established to prevent isolation, so that farmers support each other at busy times of the year in their farms.
The new project will work with Irish Rural Link, the BRIDE (Biodiversity Regeneration in a Dairying Environment) project, the Duncannon Blue Flag Farming & Communities Scheme, the New Futures Farming Group and the Health and Safety Authority across Cork, Tipperary and Wexford.