MACRA na Feirme National President, Michael Gowing, commenting on the increased focus by the HSA on farm safety has stated that reducing fatalities and accidents on farms should be about changing farmers attitudes through education and promotion and working with them to address farm safety issues.
He remarked, "There needs to be a balance between enforcement and promotion. Macra, for example, has pioneered the inclusion of health and safety advice on farm walks where Health and Safety inspectors participate and give advice on how to incorporate health and safety measures on farm. This initiative when incorporated as part of a general farm walk is an easy and effective means of drawing farmers attention to farm safety requirements."
Mr Gowing continued by saying, "A range of national initiatives are also required to promote farm safety. Funds from the Rural Development program through 'Leader' should be made available to roll out farm safety initiatives across the country.
"Minister Calleary must explore such funding options to promote safety in the long term by changing attitudes through promotion, education and training. This is the most effective means of addressing farm safety," he concluded.