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January 23, 2022
Health and Safety

HSA farm inspection campaign to focus on safe working at height


Over the final 10 years (2011 – 2020) working at height led to 11 fatalities on farms.

eleventh November 2021

  • The HSA agriculture inspection campaign will run from Monday fifteenth November to Friday twenty sixth November focusing on security when working at height.
  • The two-week campaign will goal each small and enormous farms nationwide. Over the final 10 years (2011 – 2020) working at height led to 11 fatalities on farms.
  • In 2020, throughout all sectors, slipping or falling led to 1,946 work-related incidents, 21% of those have been falls from height.
  • HSA inspectors, throughout their farm visits, can be reminding farmers of the intense dangers concerned in any work at height, even brief length jobs.
  • Inspectors will advise farmers to use the most secure doable technique of doing this work. The use of acceptable equipment reminiscent of an MEWP (Mobile Elevated Work Platform) or putting in ample working platform(s), ample edge safety and different measures to forestall falls from height.
  • Free on-line sources supplied by the HSA, reminiscent of www.besmart.ie and www.farmsafely.com, will present steerage and route for farmers to guarantee this key planning exercise is correctly undertaken.

The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) will start a two-week farm inspection blitz on Monday fifteenth November with a focus on working at height. Over the final ten years working at height has led to 11 fatalities on farms and HSA inspectors can be paying explicit consideration throughout this campaign to how farmers plan and organise their working at height exercise.

According to Pat Griffin, Senior Inspector with the Health and Safety Authority, “a lot of work at height on farms takes place on shed roofs, many of which are either entirely or partially made from fragile materials. Working on these roofs carries significant risk and farmers must carefully plan and organise their work to ensure their safety and health.

“Ideally, farmers should avoid carrying out work at height at all and use a competent contractor who will have the equipment and expertise to do the work safely. But where farmers have no option but to carry out the work themselves, there are basic precautions that must be taken. A fall from a height can lead to a very serious life changing injury or even death, taking shortcuts or carrying out the work without due regard to the risks involved is not an option.”

The foremost threat when working at height is falls, both from ladders, by way of fragile roofs or from unprotected edges of roofs or different constructions. Simple edge safety can forestall falls, however all too typically an absence of planning can lead to very critical penalties.

A roof is taken into account fragile if it can’t assist the load of an individual or the place half or the entire roof can simply be damaged or shattered. Fragile roofing supplies embrace galvanised sheeting, perspex sheeting, and different supplies reminiscent of glass and wooden wool slabs.  Factors to take note of when assessing the chance of roof work embrace:

  • Roof lights which can have been obscured by paint.
  • Repairs carried out previously which can have weakened the roof.
  • Metal roof sheets which can have deteriorated with age.
  • Wood wool slabs which can have been broken over time by water.

Very critical accidents may also be brought about from unsecured ladders slipping sideways or kicking out at the bottom.  Ladders ought to solely be used as a method of entry or for work of very brief length.  Ideally, the place farmers are endeavor the work themselves, they need to use a cell elevating work platform (MEWP) or a tower scaffold to undertake the work safely.

In phrases of the legislation, upkeep of a construction is taken into account ‘construction work’ and the in depth authorized necessities for building work should be complied with. Where farmers are endeavor the work themselves, they need to perform a threat evaluation. Free on-line sources supplied by the HSA, reminiscent of www.besmart.ie and www.farmsafely.com, will present steerage and route for farmers to guarantee this key planning exercise is correctly undertaken.  General farm security data and steerage could be discovered at www.hsa.ie.

ENDS.

Editors Notes:

The time period “construction work” means the finishing up of any constructing, civil engineering or engineering building work, apart from drilling and extraction within the extractive industries as outlined by the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Extractive Industries) Regulations 1997 and is included within the Safety and Health at work Regulations 2013.

Further data on safe working at height and farm security and well being normally could be discovered at the next hyperlinks:

Farm Safety Action Plan 2021-24

Code of Practice for Preventing Injury and Occupational Ill Health in Agriculture

Farm Safety Code of Practice – Risk Assessment Document

Code of Practice for Safety in Roofwork

Working at Height in Agriculture – Information Sheet

Build in Safety – Advice for Farmers



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