The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) have recently published a newly revised version of the Farm Safety Code of Practice for the prevention of injury and occupational ill-health in agriculture.
The code was originally published in 2006, almost 11 years ago. It consisted of four items: a general guidance document, a risk assessment document, a safe system of work plan (SSWP) document and DVD.
The Farm Safety Code of Practice acts as a backbone to all Farm safety, health and well-being. Chief executive of the HSA, Martin O’ Halloran said: “When the HSA set out to revise it, the aim was to make it more reflective of modern farming. We also wanted to make it easier for farmers to use.
“The revised code focuses in on the most common hazards and provides workable solutions that can be put in place with minimal-to-zero cost”.
The newly revised code is now made up of two documents only – a general guidance document and a working risk assessment document.
The HSA confirmed that this new code of practice performs the exact same function as the original.
The decision was made, to develop a new code to reflect technical progress in the farming sector along with changes in farming practice, equipment and accident trends. There are also some additional features in the updated code including specific sections for “slurry handling” and “harvesting”.
Newly updated references to legislation and guidance as well as updated imagery and a section on how to understand chemical symbols are all included. There are also new recommendations and approaches to farm building maintenance.
Teagasc also collaborated with the HSA on the revised code according to director Gerry Boyle: “It was important that whatever came out of the process was an improvement on the existing code, he explained. This update has definitely achieved that and it will be of huge benefit to educators and advisors in the farming sector.”
The old Farm Safety Code of practice is expected to be phased out over 18 months.