Minister Heydon recommends all farmers complete the Macra “SAFE Agri Skills” training courses

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With the ongoing high rate of fatal farm incidents in 2020, the Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) with Special Responsibility for Farm Safety, Martin Heydon T.D., is supporting Macra na Feirme in asking young people to take the lead on farm safety, with the launch of the Macra ‘Safe Agri Skills‘ Initiative.

The Safe Agri Skills initiative provides a suite of four short training courses in relevant areas around farm safety.  Every year incidents with farm vehicles, machinery and livestock account for the majority of fatalities on Irish farms.

While these courses are aimed at young farmers, there is great benefit for all farmers in taking the time to complete each of the modules.  Minister Heydon said, “Those of all ages and levels of experience will pick up important safety reminders in each module, and many farmers will find the livestock handling and manual handling courses to be particularly beneficial, especially considering the risks these activities can present.”

The core on-line training courses relate to tractor and machinery safety, livestock handling, manual handling and first aid for farming. There are also optional extras including chainsaw use and ATV Quad Bike Safety Awareness Training.

Minister Heydon said, “I would encourage everyone involved in farming to take the time to complete these safety courses and obtain the Certificate of Achievement for completing the Safe Skills Course. The courses cover basics that all of us involved in agriculture need to be aware of, but perhaps need to be reminded of from time to time.”

The course is offered by Macra Agricultural Skillnet as part of their farmer training programme. Macra National President Thomas Duffy has called “on all those working in farming to complete the safety training and ensure all those working with them do so. Farming is a dangerous job where simple mistakes, especially during stressful times such as calving or harvest, can lead to lifechanging injuries or death.”

Everyone involved in agriculture needs to be aware of the principles set out in the course to protect not just their own safety, but also their health and wellbeing.  Minister Heydon concluded by saying, “Taking the time to make sure you are not putting yourself in harm’s way when working on farm is time well spent. Completing this training will certainly be of benefit to you, and help you to keep yourself safe in your work.”

Further information and to complete the training visit www.macra.ie/skillnet

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