By Donal McCarthy, Show Secretary
Farm and Work Safely will be an integral part of Clonakilty Agricultural Show on Sunday, June 10, 2018. For the past eight years farming has been identified as the most dangerous occupation to follow in this country. In 2017, out of a total of 47 workplace deaths, 24 farmers died in work-related accidents, a figure up from 21 fatalities in the previous year.
Elderly farmers are at a particular risk, with 14 of the fatalities being aged 65 or older. There was one child fatality.
It used to be the construction industry that had this dangerous reputation; that changed when the regulators focused on that industry and improved safety regulations.
Instead of trying to get busy farmers to attend special focused events, the Committee of Clonakilty Agricultural Show decided to introduce a ‘Farm and Work Safely Event’ to their readymade audience of farmers and their families. The event will focus on all types of safety, on the farm and in the home, so will be of interest to both farmers and non-farmers.
Central to the theme will be ‘Safety for Children’; Caroline Casey and her team from Cork County Council will conduct workshops for children on farm safety, road safety and water safety.
The art competition for senior classes in local primary schools has been give a similar theme and there may be a few relevant special guests on the day.
Farmers and farm contractors must make their own health and safety, and that of their families, a number one priority; they need to be made aware of the dangers associated with the use of heavy machinery and the acute health risks connected with the inhalation of slurry gasses.
Remember that a farm accident, whether it is fatal or causes serious injury, leaves a trail of heartbreak.