Survey to Explore what Factors Influence Farm Safety

Monday 8th July

The Health and Safety Authority has announced that it is to carry out a ‘Farm Safety Survey’. The survey will aim to identify the behaviours farmers engage in, while working, the underlying factors influencing them and to make recommendations concerning how best to make farms safer places to work and live

The survey questionnaires will be posted to over 3,000, randomly selected, farm households during the week beginning (today) Monday 8th of July. The survey has been designed by Agricultural sector experts and further shaped by interviews with farmers at a number of marts around the country earlier this year.

The five page questionnaire can be completed in 20 minutes and comes with a pre-paid return envelope. The closing date for returning completed questionnaires is Wednesday 31st of July.

Agriculture is recognized as a hazardous occupation, but many of the dangers can be reduced by means of prevention. Demographic, environmental and behavioural risk factors in farming can cause farming hazards to lead to injury, illness or death. These demographic and environmental risk factors can be exacerbated by specific behaviours. Research has previously been undertaken by Teagasc and the HSA on different aspects of farm safety, but none that specifically addressed underlying psychosocial mechanisms.

Patricia Murray, Occupational Psychologist and Health and Safety Authority Inspector is steering the project. She is urging people to complete the questionnaire if received, “It is important to stress that this survey is not about blame or identifying wrong. It is entirely confidential and there will be no follow-up contact. We believe that the information provided will prove very useful in supporting and informing the Authority’s role in promoting the benefits of improved health and safety compliance/performance for farmers.”