Free Slurry Online CourseThe Health and Safety Authority has launched a free short online course entitled ‘Farm Safely with Slurry’ aimed at farmers.

The short course provides farmers with an opportunity to increase their awareness of the dangers associated with slurry and how to prevent accidents occurring to themselves and to others.

Drowning and gas poisoning are two major health and safety problems associated with slurry, and children and the elderly are at particular risk.

Chief Executive, Martin O’Halloran said in 2014 there were 30 fatalities in the agriculture sector and this represented roughly 55% of all work related deaths in 2014.

“With the slurry spreading season underway farmers need to raise their awareness levels and remain vigilant to the risks involved in spreading slurry.”

The online course is a mixed media production delivered by video.

Expert interviews are provided by Pat Griffin, HSA Senior Inspector Agriculture, and by Dr. Shane Farrelly, Occupational Physician.

On successful completion of this 30 minute course farmers will be able to:
• Identify the best times and conditions for spreading slurry;
• Recognise the need to plan ahead and make appropriate preparations to work safely;
• Recognise the dangers associated with slurry;
• Implement the appropriate control measures to prevent accidents when working with slurry;
• Find farm safety information available from the Health and Safety Authority.

Education Manager with the HSA, Joanne Harmon said farmers can access this short course online, free of charge in their own homes and in their own time.

“You can visit and revisit the course at any stage to ensure you remain up to speed on best practice and fully aware of the risks involved in spreading slurry.”

To view the course, visit the HSA website.

Milker/General Farm Worker, Cork

Milker/General Farm worker is sought for a large dairy herd close to Cork City.

This leading herd has a 50:50 Spring /Autumn calving profile.

A keen all-rounder is required who is capable of quickly getting up to speed with the day to day operations of this farm.

Most of the work will revolve around the milking herd and will typically involve milking, parlour duties, wash down, feeding calves, bedding calves and cows, power washing in the vicinity of the milking and winter facilities.

Relevant experience is essential.

Willingness to work hard and the ability to integrate into the existing family farm team is also crucial to a successful application.

If interested please send your CV in Word Format to or phone 0539236222.

Dealing with Staff Through Negotiation: Part 2

Tone of Voice and Body Language

Although you may not think it, tone of voice and body language is crucially important in communication and, if used correctly, can help get your point across much more effectively, explained Mr Gibb.

“Research has shown only 7 per cent of the meaning of messages we receive from others comes from the words themselves. Tone and volume of voice makes up 38 per cent and 55 per cent comes from body language.”

The environment in which you communicate with staff also plays an important role, said Mr Gibb.

If an issue arises – such as stock being handled poorly by staff, laziness in the milking routine or machinery being used inappropriately – think carefully about how you deal with the problem.

“Rushing in and reprimanding the employee straight away is not always effective. Asking them to stop what they are doing and removing them from the situation will put you in control.

“Even if communication is already good between manager and staff, conversations will be more constructive if they take place away from the farmyard environment.


“When sat down in the office or around the kitchen table, both the employer and employee can focus better. Concerns are more likely to be raised and any praise given has greater standing.

“There is no harm in trying this technique for three months to see if it makes a difference to your business,” he added.


Successful negotiation is often where both sides feel they gained and has been useful in dealing with a staff issue.

“If trying to change how a task is done, explain why you are asking them to change and how they and the business will benefit,” said Mr Gibb.

“Plant the seed while negotiating; highlight the issue and ask their opinion before offering your idea.

“Taking an interest in your staff and their life outside work will make them feel understood and more inclined to take your suggestions on-board.”