Labour Senator Mary Moran is urging farmers in Co. Louth to apply for grants being made available under the new Farm Safety Scheme.
Moran says: “Concerns over the issue of farm safety are at an all-time high following a number of accidents across the country recently. I am glad that the Department of Agriculture has responded to these concerns quickly by making the Farm Safety Scheme a reality, so that we can all work to reduce the number of farm-related accidents and deaths.
“This is a once-off scheme and it incentivises farmers to invest in new equipment, facilities and other preventative measures. A comprehensive list of investment items covered under this new Scheme is available on the Department’s website and I would encourage anyone interested in applying to the scheme to examine it for more detail. In the meantime, I am pleased it contains safety fencing and covers for external slurry and effluent stores, which will give farmers better protection from the perils of slurry-related accidents, while the inclusion of sheep and cattle handling facilities is also welcome.
“The deadline for applications is Friday, January 9, so I would advise farmers in Co. Louth to move quickly and get the relevant documents into the Department as soon as possible.
“Research shows that around 3,000 people are injured on Irish farms each year, while over 40% of fatal accidents in the Irish workplace occur on farms. This despite the fact that only 6.5% of the Irish workers work in the agricultural sector. Clearly it is an area we need to be much stronger on in this country, but I am hopeful that steps such as the new Farm Safety Scheme will make a real difference to the risks associated with farmwork, and in turn, help to reduce the number of accidents accordingly.”