Pat Breen TD, Minister for Trade, Employment and Business, calls on farmers to get safety training 

Tuesday 19th September

Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen TD, has today (Tuesday 19th September) launched a new schedule for training on the revised ‘Farm Safety Code of Practice’. The launch took place at the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) exhibit at the National Ploughing Championships in Screggan, Tullamore, Co Offaly. The training will be hosted by Teagasc, on a nationwide basis, and takes place over the next few months.

The revised ‘Farm Safety Code of Practice’ was published in June this year. It provides farmers with a new risk assessment document that helps identify hazards, implement controls and protect farm safety, health and wellbeing. The new version has additional features, including specific sections for ‘Slurry Handling’ and ‘Harvesting’. It also reflects technical progress in the sector, changes in farming practice, equipment and accident trends.

Speaking about safety on farms and the importance of training, Minister Breen said, “We know from recent studies into fatal accident rates that farmers are up to eight times more likely to be killed in an accident than the average industrial worker. Tragically already this year fifteen people have been killed in farm accidents. This is unacceptable. We also know that many people are seriously injured each year. The circumstances for these accidents are created by the risk-taking culture that is all too prevalent in the farming community. We need to reduce these accident rates and I believe that the safety training provided by Teagasc is an important element in achieving that. I would call on all farmers to avail of this training and make safety a priority at all times.”

Martin O’Halloran, Chief Executive of the HSA said: “When we began to update the ‘Farm Safety Code of Practice’ we considered how we could make it easier to use and more practical to everyday farming activities. I think that has been achieved. I would strongly urge farmers to get trained and make sure that they implement what they learn on a daily basis. This is not a paper exercise, but a practical method for working safely on farms.”

Professor Gerry Boyle, Director of Teagasc said: “Training and increased knowledge does make a difference. The crucial step, however, to cut farm accident levels is to motivate on-going farmer adoption of safety and health measures. Teagasc and the HSA have been working closely on farm safety for a number of years. Today as well as announcing more training we are formally renewing our partnership by signing a ‘Joint Prevention Agreement’. Through this cooperation we can develop a sustained culture of farm safety.”

For further details on the training contact your local Teagasc office or visit

Copies of the revised “Farm Safety Code of Practice” are freely available at and from the HSA exhibit at (stand no. 318, row 14).