An online tractor safety training course has been jointly launched by the Minister of State for Agriculture Martin Heydon and Health and Safety Authority (HSA) CEO Dr Sharon McGuinness in conjunction with the Irish Farmers Journal.
The course has been developed by this newspaper, the HSA and the Department of Agriculture due to the ongoing level of fatal injuries involving farm machinery.
Minister Heydon, who has responsibility for farm safety, said: “This online course is a great opportunity for all those working with farm machinery to refresh their skills.
"It can provide a reminder for experienced operators as well as a grounding for young people starting out with farm machinery."
The course is aimed primarily at young people starting out who drive tractors on farms and highlights the daily safety elements that need to be considered. It can also be used as a good refresher for other ages too.
Tractors and other vehicles were involved in half of all farm fatalities over the last 10 years.
Dr McGuinness highlighted the need for farmers to invest time training themselves, their families and others who work on the farm.
“I would ask farmers to get online and complete this tractor safety awareness training course,” she said.
“And make sure to get any young person who lives and works with you to complete it too. What you learn on the course can keep you and your loved ones safe now and in years to come.”
Irish Farmers Journal editor Justin McCarthy said there was a responsibility on farmers both to themselves and their family to farm safely.
“I would urge all farmers and their families to take this interactive course to help remind them of the proper practices and procedures that need to be undertaken before operating any type of machinery,” he said.
To take this course go to: www.ifj.ie/machinerysafety
Death rate on farms is unacceptably high – Minister Heydon
People would do ‘anything to turn back the clock’ after farm incidents