PR – Evaluation Of Strategies To Achieve Compliance With A Legal Risk Assessment Document By Farmers In Ireland
Recent legislation in Ireland permits farmers who are self-employed or who employ three or less employees to meet legal duties regarding safety and health management by complying with the terms of a Code of Practice and completing a Risk Assessment Document. A three year National Initiative commenced in 2005 to develop the Code of Practice and Risk Assessment Documents and to evaluate strategies to assist farmers to effectively complete and implement their legal requirements. Preliminary findings of an evaluation of the initial phase of the Initiative are presented in this paper. The evaluation was conducted among farmers who attended a half-day training course on completing and using the Risk Assessment Document are compared with a group of farmers who completed it without training. The study findings indicate that 74% of farmers who returned the document for evaluation completed it satisfactorily. Satisfactory completeness rates were similar whether a training course was or was not attended. However, 100% of participants stated that attendance at the training was worthwhile. The on-farm evaluation found that just over 24% of the farms were not achieving a satisfactory standard of safety and health management and this was unrelated to the level of completeness of the document or attendance at a training course. Further research is required to determine what further assistance is required by farmers who either do not complete the Risk Assessment Document or achieve a satisfactory standard of safety and health management.
Key Words: Farm Safety; Health; Risk Assessment; Training; Safety Legislation.