As the number of coronavirus cases increases, it is inevitable that some farmers, contractors, family members and staff will contract the virus.
Farmers and contractors are lucky in the sense that the majority of their work involves a high level of isolation, ie working from a cab without the need of coming into contact with others.
With the weather set to improve in the coming days, the workload for tillage farmers and contractors in particular will increase immensely, given the challenging weather and unsuitable field conditions to date.
The Association of Farm and Forestry Contractors in Ireland (FCI) has issued a statement on how both contractors and farmers can reduce the risk of contracting or spreading the coronavirus (Covid-19).
Where possible ,all contact with farmers should be eliminated.
If in doubt, jobs should be discussed with the farmer over the phone.
If encountering others, a minimum of two metres should be kept between each other.
In the event of coughing or sneezing, this should be done into your elbow or into a tissue.
No passengers should be allowed inside the cabin at any time.
It is a good idea to carry enough food and fluids for the day, so that deli stops are not necessary. Neither is it a good idea to enter a customer’s home for tea or dinner.
At the start and end of each day, it is recommended that inside the tractor cab is sprayed with a disinfectant or wiped with antibacterial wipes, likewise for door handles, steering wheels and all controls.
A box of disposable gloves should be carried on board, which should be used while opening and closing gates. A fresh set of clothes and overalls should be worn each day, with disposal overalls being a good option also.
It is important that the guidelines above are practised to reduce your chances of catching or spreading the virus during these busy times in the field.
In the event of showing symptoms of Covid-19, the FCI recommends you call HSE Live at 1850 24 1850.