Farm Safety Starts with Our Youths

The FRS “Safe Tractor Driving Programme” is the only one of its kind in the country and is aimed at teenagers (14 to 16 yrs.)

FRS Safe Tractor Driving Skills

A large group of 23 Students from Thurles CBS at the FRS Teenage Safe Tractor Driving Course

Action to Reduce Child Fatalities

The Safe Tractor Driving Course was set up by FRS in 1996 following a large number of fatal accidents in Agriculture and in particular with children under the age of 16 years. One of the worst years ever recorded in Ireland was 1991, when a total of 13 children lost their lives to farm accidents. We, at FRS, decided we needed to do take action and when we analysed the accidents it quickly became clear that the tractor was the main cause of accidents with Teenagers.

This was the start of the “The Skills to Survive” programme and we estimate that FRS has trained approximately 8,000 Teenagers on this one day programme since it was set up in 1996.

Farm accidents and fatalities still remain a huge cause for concern and we believe that farming safely and responsibly begins with training our youths.


Working through Parents and Schools

Very often Mothers contact the office who have heard about our programme or saw it on the TV series Ear to the Ground (go to to view this TV footage) and want their son or daughter trained on tractor safety.

We make contact with secondary schools through the Principals or very often the Agricultural Science teachers and ask them to come on board and help source students for the training.

We have run the FRS Safe Tractor Driving course with many groups of young people, but it should be a course that is ran in every second level school in the country. With the annual fatalities on Irish farms over 20 – farming is the most dangerous occupation in Ireland and farm safety education should be part of every school curriculum.

We invite guardians, parents and schools to take action and contact us to arrange a course.


FRS SafeTractor Driving Course

The main focus of the course is teaching the teenagers how to operate and drive a tractor safely, with practical instruction being a key component of the training.

Tractors nowadays have become increasingly larger in size and faster in speed so they can pull heavier and bigger loads and as a result they may be more dangerous to inexperienced drivers.

The vast majority of fatal Farm accidents occur when using a tractor on its own firstly and secondly when attaching or using it with other implements.

I am fully convinced that teaching the correct safety procedures to young people is essential to making them safer on farms when operating tractors and other machinery. Farm safety starts with our youths and instils an ethos and awareness of farm safety that they will bring with them through their farming careers.

The theory element of the course takes approx. 1 hour 30 minutes and is followed by a practical driving session by every teenager , where the skills taught in the class room are practiced in a real driving scenario.

These courses are generously supported by FBD which is a huge help in keeping the cost down so that the course is affordable to Teenagers.


Available to all Schools and Students

I would like all schools and parents to know that this course is available to them. Once we get a group of 15 students we can then arrange the course in their local area in a very short amount of time.

While the majority of students on the course tend to be male we often had a number of female participants and strongly encourage girls to take part. The course is open to all students from both Farming and Non-Farming backgrounds. It is common in rural Ireland that many friends and relatives from non- farming families visit farms and should be safety aware. Driving experience is not necessary to take part as students will be shown safe practices from the start.

The cost per person is €30 and anyone interested should contact our office at 0505/31588 or 1890 20 1000 and visit our website where full details of course content is available and footage from Ear to the Ground. Come and ‘like’ our facebook page ( to keep informed on FRS training courses.