Leaflet highlights danger of slurry gases


FARM SAFETY:THE RECENT deaths on the Spence farm in Co Down have led to an increased emphasis on farm safety at this year’s championships. The Health and Safety Authority and Teagasc yesterday distributed hundreds of leaflets on the dangers associated with slurry.

Father and sons Noel, Graham and Nevin Spence died after being overcome by slurry fumes on their farm near Hillsborough this month. The leaflet highlights the danger of gases such as hydrogen sulphide, which are released when slurry is agitated.

The two agencies also announced a champions for safety plan which targets students in agriculture, horticulture, forestry and equine studies.

Farm deaths and accidents were more common among older farmers, and Teagasc director Prof Gerry Boyle said there was strong evidence from the US that inter-generational dialogue between farmers had a powerful role to play in improving safety.

The project will be rolled out at seminars at agricultural and horticultural colleges next month and in November.

Also yesterday, ICMSA president John Comer asked if the Government was delaying the publication of a report on third-level grants and capital assets until after the championships to avoid clashes with farm families during the event.

He said Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn had signalled it would be published in late September. “Here we are and still no word from the Minister on this potentially explosive issue.”