Deaths and accidents on Irish farms have been rising, with injuries unacceptably high also. Safety in the farm should have the same priority as any other activity covered by the farm payments scheme.

Irish Rural Link’s pilot programme aimed to effect significant behavioural change towards the management of farm safety measures among farmers, farm workers and all who live and work on farms.

We developed a peer-to-peer learning model whereby ordinary farmers, who demonstrated a strong interest in farm safety, would use their understanding of the practical workings of farms to positively influence the behaviours of other farmers.

The Model is designed by farmers for farmers and tested in four midland counties, Westmeath, Longford, and Cavan & Meath.

The programme established a panel of trained farm safety mentors, each of whom had completed a QQI (formerly FETAC) level 6 farm safety course taught by IRL. Irish Rural Link coordinated the pilot programme through their office, IRL staff members were assigned to manage the programme finances and assist the mentors in their day to day activities such as connecting them with the local media and offering advice when required. IRL staff were given the task of evaluating the pilot and developing it nationally, proposals are currently with government to expand the programme nationally.