Today, Minister of State with responsibility for Farm Safety at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine Martin Heydon T.D. launched the Agri Aware Farm Safe Schools Programme for 2022.
Minister Heydon said: “I am determined that we get the message of ‘Safety First’ onto every farm. That is why I am delighted to be able to support the Farm Safe Schools Programme for 2022. It is important that we take every opportunity to emphasise the need for a change of culture around safety on our farms. I believe children can play an important role in improving safety on farms by bringing the safety message home to their families. We should not underestimate the ability of young people to deliver real and tangible change and this programme can empower them to do so.””
The Agri Aware Farm Safe Schools programme in association with, the Irish Farmers Association, AgriKids and the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine is just in its second year.
As a pilot programme, Farm Safe Schools ran in over 500 schools across Ireland and impacted over 21,000 primary pupils, in an attempt to improve farm safety nationally in 2021.
Despite Farming accounting for only 6% of national workplaces, it accounts for almost half of workplace deaths.
The Farm Safe Schools Programme has three modules: Farmer and Field Safety, Animal Safety and Machinery Safety, highlighting the many risks on farms to schoolchildren.
This curriculum-linked programme aims to engage, educate and empower Irish children to become farm safety ambassadors and in doing so help create a safer, brighter future on Irish farms.
Alan Jagoe Chairman of Agri Aware said: “Agri Aware are delighted to have the support of Minister Heydon and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine for such an important schools programme.
“Farm Safe Schools plays a crucial role in getting the message of farm safety to those on the ground, with the children carrying the messages to their parents and grandparents.
“We hope this programme can make our farms safer by promoting better practices and reducing accidents on our farms.”
Farm Safe Schools 2022 will run from February to May and is free for all schools to sign up. Schools can register here.