24 Jul 2017

Farm Safety is a lifestyle, not a slogan

Promoting Safe Working at Height in the farming community through our Self Drive Division.

Last year’s HSE Health & Safety in Agriculture report stated that there were 27 fatal injuries to farm workers in 2015/2016 in Great Britain. 21 people lost their lives in farm accidents in the Republic of Ireland and an additional 12 in Northern Ireland. Many of these fatalities occurred while working at height. Despite more noise around farm safety, farmers of all ages are still taking risks when working and this needs to stop.

Height for Hire identified that the lack of a local service, and a lack of knowledge about what work at height solutions are available to the agricultural community were the two main challenges for people in rural areas. In the absence of access to safe working at height solutions, people often improvise with unsafe methods, sometimes resulting in fatalities.

So Height for Hire asked the question: What if we could supply a working at height solution that could be driven on a standard car licence, where the customer could save on delivery costs while working on multiple sites with the same hire? This would need to be a user friendly product that is quick and easy to set up.

We chose the CTE 20 H and our Self Drive Division was born. With a working height of 20m, an outreach of 9.2m, and weighing under 3,500kg, this van mount can be driven on a standard car licence.

In the last 24 months, we have rolled out a nationwide service across the island of Ireland, offering both a drive-it-yourself option and an operated hire service. All customers are thoroughly familiarised with the machine, but have the option of an operated service until they get comfortable with operating the machine themselves.

While we have a broad range of customers for this product, we have actively targeted and sought to change behaviours in the farming community by working with a variety of stakeholders.

In July 2016 we launched a #Get Home Safe social media campaign in conjunction with the Irish Farmers Association and their  "Who will fill your boots?" initiative during Farm Safety Week. This year we are supporting the Irish Famers Association 2017 campaign that Farm Safety is a lifestyle, not a slogan.

We will be teaming up with the HSA again this year at the National Ploughing Championship, carrying out machine demonstrations on their stand to educate the farming community about safer working at height solutions.

Frances Mc Ardle, Height for Hire’s Operations Director was a guest speaker at the National Conference on Farm Safety and Health in 2016.

We also have strong links with the agricultural colleges around Ireland where we give professional and educational talks free of charge to the next generation of farmers.

We continue to actively work with all stakeholders in the agricultural sector to play our part in reducing the amount of fatalities on farms and encourage people to work at height safely.

Height for Hire is a family business so we like to get everyone home safe to their family.