Tipperary farming: landowners urged to practice safety first after storms

Tipperary Star reporter

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Tipperary Star reporter

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Tipperary farming: landowners urged to practice safety first after storms

Following the recent storms in late October, we are now faced with the task of clearing and cutting up fallen trees and branches.

This type of work, while not apparent to every farmer, landowner or golf club, is very dangerous and in safety terms it is classed as high risk work. High risk demands a high level of safety to manage this work.

This means checking your insurance cover, having proper training and hiring or using what’s called competent people to do the work.

Getting your neighbour and some locals in to help is not the right thing to do unless you are fully satisfied that they are all trained and competent to use chainsaws and all wear the proper protective clothing.

FRS Training provides various levels of chainsaw training from basic maintenance and cross cutting right up to large felling and also deliver general tree care type of work, such as using pole saws, snedding and dealing with windblows.

FRS offers a choice of certification including City & Guilds, Lantra and QQI.

Jim Dockery, FRS Training manager said: “It is very positive to see that people are taking the required safety steps when it comes to chainsaws and arranging to do the courses.

“I can appreciate the work that they are facing into and with recent levels of accidents especially on farms I commend them for picking up the phone to us to find out how they can safely tackle the clean-up and safe guard themselves and their workers.”

Jim reports that many golf clubs, estates and stud farms where trees had fallen were very quick off the mark to get their staff trained as they fully realise the dangers of this type of work and have checked with their insurers before they came along and booked the courses.

“Great care must be taken when cutting up large trees that have fallen. Remember they can still be dangerous as they can roll and the stumps can fall back causing serious injury, said Jim.

He warned of the particular dangers of dealing with hang ups (one tree caught up in another) as this requires specialised equipment and skills and should not be tackled alone or without proper training.

Following Coillte's recent exit from chainsaw felling and training services, FRS has stepped in to fill customer needs with an expanded course list offering a wide range of certified training to meet this need for customers.

Eugene Doyle, FRS Training said: “There are many high risk hazards associated with the chainsaw and many people take these for granted and have suffered the consequences.

“Risk of accidents can be greatly reduced by getting proper training to match the task in hand, and wearing proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) at all times.

“Anyone contemplating felling trees or dealing with windblown trees needs to be fully trained and certified.”

There are three basic rules to follow:

n never saw alone

n never saw above shoulder height

n Never saw without competent training and proper PPE.

Suitable PPE must be provided and worn regardless of the job size in order to protect those parts of the body susceptible to injury.

All equipment should conform to the relevant European Standards and be of good working standard and suitable to match the job in hand.

Chainsaw PPE should include:

n safety helmet (combi)

n safety boots

n chainsaw gloves

n chainsaw pants

n hi-vis jacket.

To book a chainsaw course to safeguard yourself and your workers, contact Eugene Doyle on 086-8117986 or Linda Crampton on 0505-3157 and visit www.frstraining.com/chainsaw