Thursday, 26th June 2014
Greater awareness needed of dangers posed by slurry fumes – Griffin
Fine Gael Kerry TD, Brendan Griffin, this week raised with the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney TD, the need to take measures to warn farmers of the dangers of slurry gasses.
Already this year, there have been a number farm deaths due to slurry fumes. This is an utter tragedy and the Government needs to do everything possible to prevent any further deaths.
The Minister for Agriculture has assured me of his commitment to promoting farm safety and outlined how for the last three years, a farm safety message has been included with the Single Payment application packs, which are distributed each year to over 130,000 farmers. In 2013 that farm safety message, was entirely focused on safe slurry handling with the message that “one lungful of slurry gas can kill” and also included the list of Safe Agitation Guidelines.
“Further steps have been taken over recent years to raise awareness and to educate farmers and their families on the dangers associated with working in this industry.
“The pilot Farm Safety Mentor Programme, launched in 2012, enables farmers to become farm safety ambassadors in their own community. This programme includes DVDs which are used by the Farm Safety Mentors and others specifically to help raise awareness of the dangers of slurry gas.
“There is a Health Safety Authority DVD containing emotional testimonials from individual farmers who tell us about their experiences of farm accidents which led to either fatalities or serious injury. A safe slurry handling leaflet was also distributed by Teagasc and the HSA at the National Ploughing Championships.
“Farms are extremely dangerous environments. Many farms are family businesses and so are worked by young and old. It is essential that farm safety is a priority to all in the industry, it must be forefront in everyone’s minds so needless deaths can be avoided.
“Much of the silage has had its first cut at this stage thanks to the fine weather we’ve been enjoying for the past few weeks. It now prime time for spreading slurry and it is vital that all farmers are aware of the dangers as we do not want any more deaths on our farms.”