By Suzanne Pender
FARMERS came from far and wide to lean more and exchange their experiences at a farm safety talk and demonstration at Brennan Agri Contractors Moanduff, Leighlinbridge last week.
The evening was both informative and helpful, guiding those in attendance in the latest safety measures and regulations around all aspects of farm life.
Demonstrations and talks were conducted by An Garda Síochána on jeep/tractor and trailer safety along with community information.
Inspector Paul Donohoe (roads policing) outlined some key safety aspects, including the importance of educating young drivers not to drive while holding a mobile phone, to buy a hands-free earpiece and for contractors to insist on their drivers having one and informing the drivers that they won’t tolerate them using their phones when using their tractors.
Sgt Donohoe also pointed out that one passenger seat in tractors means only one other person is allowed in the cab. He also asked that drivers ensure children are restrained, using the seatbelts provided.
Sgt Donohoe also spoke at length about the importance of securing loads, which motorists are obliged to observe by law.
Both the driver and the owner of the vehicle can be found guilty of an offence if a defective vehicle which is a danger to the public is driven in a public place or if a load is not adequately restrained. It is also now the law that any works vehicle on a public road must have its flashing beacons on.
He also informed the audience that web straps must be compliant and tested. The correct straps have a blue label showing their lashing capacity and that the standard must be written onto the blue label showing the code BS EN 12195-2.
The HAS website has all the relevant specifications if people wish to get more information.
Teagasc staff were on hand to offer their expertise on animal handling and machine safety, while Quinn’s of Baltinglass also held an informative discussion on sprays.
Also among the speakers was Brian Rushe, deputy president of the IFA; Alice Doyle, IFA national farm family chairwoman; and Francie Gorman, IFA South Leinster regional chairman.