Farm Safe Schools would not be possible without the support of the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine.
Minister of State with special responsibility for Farm Safety.
As Minister with responsibility for Farm Safety, I am delighted to be able to support the Farm Safe Schools Programme for 2022 following on from the successful pilot of the programme in 2021. It is important that farm safety is tackled at every level and I know that children can play an important role in improving the culture of safety on our farms by bringing the safety message home to their families.
There are a lot of risks on farms, however, farms do not have to be dangerous places to live or work. It is through knowing the risks and then putting in place actions to manage these risks, that the rate of serious and fatal injuries on farms will be reduced. I believe that children have an important role to play in encouraging their parents and grandparents to put in place measures to manage the risks on their farms.
This programme will help to create a safety-first mindset in children, which I know children will use to encourage their parents and grandparents to also adopt a safety-first mindset. Sadly, over the last ten years 21 children have died because of incidents on farm, and with an average of 21 fatal incidents on farms each year for the last ten years, every action is important to reduce the rate of fatal and serious incidents.
I want everyone who has a connection with a farm to understand that safety is important, because there are many risks on farms. The risks can all be controlled if we know and understand what they are. Learning about safety is equally as important to learning about how to look after the animals and crops on a farm. This programme provides a very useful resource for the education of children around the risks on farms.
I would encourage all primary schools to get involved in the Safe Farm Schools Programme, as it is through everyone being aware of the risks, that the rate of serious and fatal incidents will be reduced.
I grew up on a farm myself and I know how much fun it can be, as long as you play safely and keep clear of the dangers. So, please follow the guidelines and encourage others to do likewise so that everyone working and visiting farms are kept safe all year.
Martin Heydon T.D.
The Farm Safe Schools programme is run in partnership with Agri Aware, AgriKids and the IFA.
It is supported by the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine.
Farm Safe Schools
C/O Agri Aware
Irish Farm Centre, Dublin 12
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