Protective vest wins farm safety award

Two students, who created an innovative protective vest to protect farmers, won the ABP Farm Safety category at the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition 2022.

The Expo is one of the largest and oldest STEM events in the world.

Conor McGuirk and Bogdan Iliescu of Castleknock College, Co. Dublin examined the strengths and limitations of non-Newtonian fluids as a form of protection against attack.

Bogdan and Conor impressed the judges with their “innovative and forward-thinking” project.

Protective vest

They tested the potential use of fluids that change viscosity under stress as a form of protection.

When subjected to a rapidly applied force, non-Newtonian fluids solidify and can form a harder protective substance.

As part of their project, the students designed a protective vest using the non-Newtonian fluid Oobleck.

Farms remain one of the main sources of occupational injuries in Ireland. Therefore, the students believe that their project has “many” potential uses related to farm safety.

They believe their innovative vest can protect farmers from potential hazards such as impact from being kicked by an animal.

The students explained: “In its normal state, the protective vest would have the weight and feel of a lightly padded jacket or bodywarmer.”

“Any sudden impact will cause the fluid inside the garment to harden, protecting the wearer’s body.”

ABP Food Group sponsored the Farm Safety category for the eighth consecutive year.

Farm safety “a priority”

In a statement, an ABP spokesperson said, “The area of ​​agricultural safety is a priority for ABP. This is a problem that still prevails in Ireland today.

“In 2021, nine people in the agricultural sector were killed in work-related accidents, according to the HSA. This accounted for around 24% of all work-related deaths in Ireland during the year.

Kevin Cahill, Managing Director of ABP Ireland, said:

“I would like to congratulate Bogdan and Conor for their innovative project, which was rightfully recognized with this year’s ABP Farm Safety Award.”

“I would like to thank all the participants who submitted projects this year. It has been truly inspiring to witness some of this year’s amazing entries and different innovative solutions to tackle the current problem of farm safety.

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