FCI Urges Contractors to Keep Safety at the Forefront Amid Mounting Pressure

FCI Emphasizes Safety as Top Priority for Farm and Forestry Contractors amid Work Pressure

The Association of Farm and Forestry Contractors in Ireland (FCI) has emphasized that safety must be the utmost priority during this busy period, as contractors face mounting pressure to complete work. The FCI has called on Teagasc farm safety officers to urge farmers to exercise patience and understanding towards agricultural contractors. With the weather improving and more machinery traversing the roads, the FCI has highlighted the current period as inherently high-risk in terms of farm accidents.

Contractors are facing demands from farmers to harvest silage crops, while also juggling the task of planting spring crops such as cereals, maize, beet, and reseeding. The FCI acknowledges the expectations placed on contractors to meet these demands, but stresses that there are limitations in terms of available hours in a day, the number of machine operators, and the need for downtime to prioritize safety. The association has underlined that working around the clock is neither sustainable nor advisable, regardless of the urgency or conditions.

Contractors and their teams are striving to achieve a balance between efficiency and safety in their operations, according to the FCI. The association asserts that the farming industry must foster an environment that is fair, safer, and less pressurized for agricultural contractors. This message is particularly pertinent as silage season is in full swing, leading to long working days for both farmers and contractors.

Over the past decade, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) has recorded 191 farm fatalities, with more than half of these tragic incidents involving farm vehicles and machinery, resulting in the loss of 96 lives. The FCI has emphasized the importance of avoiding situations that jeopardize lives, stressing that no task is worth risking farm safety. Farmers are urged to recognize their responsibility in ensuring that they do not place their contractors and operators in harm’s way through unreasonable demands.

Matt Lyons

Matt Lyons

Matt Lyons is the founder of Forestry & Carbon. Matt has over 25 years as a forestry consultant and is invoilved in numerous carbon credit offset projects.

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