Farm safety standards to the fore

Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney recently unveiled a €12.2 million safety scheme to assist farmers in upgrading safety standards on their farms. This comes in the midst of a flurry of talk and interest in the area by both safety and farming industry experts off the back of a high number of preventable accidents occurring on farms around the country. Over 2,000 injuries occur on farmyards every year. Of those approximitely 75% are related to machinery.

The grant rate will be 40% up to a maximum eligible investment ceiling of €20,000, ie, a maximum grant of €8,000. The closing date for receipt of applications will be January 9, 2015, and all work must be completed by farmers and a payment claim lodged with the department by August 31, 2015. Read more on this here.

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So, what do required standards look like now?

According to the IFA Safety leaflet 2014 the best way to protect you, your family and anyone working or visiting the farm is to:

Carry out a risk assessment to identify the hazards , potential risks and appropriate control measures.

• Eliminate or reduce the risks by implementing the control measures. 


The Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 requires that all farmers complete a Safety Statement. Farmers with 3 or less employees can comply with the requirement by adhering to the Farm Safety Code of Practice, completing the Farm Safety Risk Assessment and implementing the appropriate control measures. It is essential that farmers ensure that these safety standards are maintained.

An easy to use online Risk Assessment document can be completed at For more information or advice on completing a Risk Assessment document visit any of the following websites:, or

Training on completing the Farm Safety Risk Assessment is also available from Teagasc and from many members of the Agricultural Consultants Association.

In addition....


  • Ensure that all machinery and equipment is in safe working order. Consult the operator's manual. Keep all safety guards in place.

  • Make sure that all operators are competent and work in a safe manner.

  • Always turn off the PTO and stop the engine before attempting to free a blockage. Watch out for bystanders.

It will be inevitable that more stringent safety standards will be introduced across the sector. The question is when and how. Watch this space for more on this topic.

The Camsaw team