Jane & Grace focus on farm safety for Angus Competition

We are Jane Carty from Knockroe, Boyle, Co. Roscommon, and Grace McKeon from Drumshanbo, Co. Leitrim who are 5th year students from Carrick on Shannon Community School Co. Leitrim. Last year during transition year we entered The Certified Irish Angus Beef Schools Competition. We were delighted to find out last April we are now Finalists in the competition.  

Our chosen theme for this competition is Farm Health and Safety. We chose this theme as we were aware of a few farm accidents that had happened in our local area. We had also done some work on Farm Safety in our Agricultural Science class during Transition Year, as part of this we watched a farm safety video produced by our teacher with students from the CBS Roscommon. This video really resonated with us. Here is a link to this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxHjKZ20kPM.

One story which really touched us was that of the death of 16 year old Donal Hayden. Donal was someone who loved to come home to the farm to see where real life was going on, as his father Matthew English Hayden explained. Donal sadly lost his life as a result of a freak accident which occurred on his neighbour, Jim Hogan's farm. There were 6 people present on the day of the accident when a bank gave way to a tractor and trailer in which Donal was travelling on.

 Unfortunately, Donal was trapped under the trailer too long . As Jim explained in the video 4 out of the 6 men that were there had mobile phones, all of which ended up in the river. Jim mentioned the importance of having local farmers numbers on display in a place easily accessed on every farm. Matthew and Jim said that they have peace of mind knowing that they could not have done anything different on that day but explained that having local farmers numbers in a place easily accessed could potentially save lives. 

Quite often when an accident happens on a farm, farmers turn to their neighbours for help. They might need a tractor or a trailer or they could just need an extra pair of hands. We feel it is very important to have these numbers to hand. This inspired us to produce our emergency contact details sheet. We feel this sheet should be displayed on every farm in case of an emergency, in a place where it is clearly visible. The emergency contact details sheet includes spaces where you can fill in local emergency details such as the local vet's number, the local doctor's number, the Eircode of the farm and also local farmers numbers. As you can see in our video below, we recommend laminating our emergency contact details sheet and placing them in easily accessible areas around your farm. 

Another idea we came up with is our Farm Safety traffic light worksheet. This is designed to be completed together by the child and the adult whose farm they would be on. It involves them drawing a map of their farm together. Together they use our traffic light system to identify hazards on the farm e.g., Red: always stay away, Amber: Only allowed with an adult, Green: Safe. As well as educating the child on farm safety, we believe that with farmers familiarity can sometimes result in complacency and they become less aware of dangers. So this activity hopefully reminds them of safety issues and possibly areas that need attention. By doing the map with an adult it promotes conversation between the adult and the child, which is now more important than ever with people not getting out.  

We feel strongly that both our Farm Safety strategies should be used in every farming household, especially in the current climate when everyone is at home and children are on the farm more than ever. We believe our two concepts can help make the farm a safer place.

You can download the Traffic and Contact Sheet here

View this video to learn how best to use your Emergency Contact Sheet