HSA Safety Inspection Campaign Starts Next Week

A two week farm-safety inspection campaign will commence next week – from November 15-26 – and will focus on safe working at height.

The nationwide Health and Safety Authority (HSA) campaign will “target large and small farms” according to the organisation.

Over the last decade, working at height has led to 11 fatalities on farms.

In 2020, across all sectors, slipping or falling led to 1,946 work-related incidents, 21% of these were falls from height.

Over the two-week safety campaign, HSA inspectors will be paying particular attention to how farmers plan and organise their working-at-height activity.

They will advise farmers on the safest options available to carry out work at a height, including the use of appropriate machinery such as a mobile elevated work patform, or putting in place adequate working platform(s), adequate edge protection and other measures to prevent falls from height.

Much of the work at height on farms takes place on shed roofs, many of which are either entirely or partially made from fragile materials, HSA senior inspector, Pat Griffin pointed out.

“Working on these roofs carries significant risk and farmers must carefully plan and organise their work to ensure their safety and health,” he said.

“Ideally, farmers should avoid carrying out work at height at all and use a competent contractor who will have the equipment and expertise to do the work safely.

“But where farmers have no option but to carry out the work themselves, there are basic precautions that must be taken.”

The main risk when working at height is falls, either from ladders, through fragile roofs or from unprotected edges of roofs or other structures.

Simple edge protection can prevent falls, but all too often a lack of planning can lead to very serious consequences.

Free online resources are provided by the HSA: www.besmart.ie and www.farmsafely.com

(Source – Agriland – Bernie Commins – 11/11/2021)

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