For Written Answer on : 20/05/2021
Question Number(s): 352 Question Reference(s): 1740/21
Department: Agriculture, Food and the Marine
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine the steps taken by his Department to incentivise investment in farm safety measures and equipment given that farm incidents constitute a high proportion of the overall number of workplace accidents; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
To highlight the importance of farm safety, the Government assigned my ministerial colleague, Martin Heydon, TD the specific responsibility for Farm Safety in his portfolio.
The Department has a range of measures both in place and being put in place to incentivise investment in farm safety measures and equipment. Firstly, there is the on-going TAMS II scheme. Under the suite of seven TAMS measures, there is a wide range of farm safety related investments available to be grant-aided. The indicative allocation for the TAMS II scheme over the course of the Rural Development Programme is €395 million.
As part of the TAMS II schemes, ‘Health and Safety’ guidelines are included in all ‘Building Specifications,’ drawn up by the Department for the construction of agricultural buildings and structures. It is a requirement for all applicants under the TAMS II schemes to complete a ½ day of farm safety training.
In addition, the Department launched a call under the locally-led Innovation Partnership model (EIP’s) specifically related to farm safety. This will see the provision of €1m in funding supporting a competitive, ‘locally-led’ call for farm safety initiatives. I see this as a significant step to driving a culture change amongst farmers and I look forward to seeing the final projects under the EIP helping to drive the much needed culture change.
My Department is also, in conjunction with the Department of Finance, developing an Accelerated Capital Allowance Scheme for Farm Safety and Disabilities Adaptation Equipment. When the scheme is up and running, relief will be available for eligible expenditure incurred since 1st January 2021. The scheme will provide for accelerated capital allowances at 50% per annum over two years for eligible specified farm safety and adaptive equipment.