July is the most dangerous month of the year for farm fatalities, which are continuing to rise overall, according to Teagasc.
The State agency will focus on health and safety during both its Crops and Spreaders Open Day at Oak Park in Carlow today and at the National Dairy Open Day in Moorepark, Fermoy, on Wednesday, July 3, where it will re-enact a farm accident at regular intervals.
Most accidents on tillage farms are associated with machinery (28%); trips, falls and blows (16%), along with livestock (28%) on mixed tillage/ livestock farms, and other accidents (28%).
Those on dairy farms are mostly linked with livestock (37%), vehicles and machinery (23%), trips, falls and blows (15%), chainsaws/wood related (13%), buildings (5%), and other accidents (7%).
Farmer health issues will also be featured at both events. The importance of using sun protection in order to prevent skin cancer will also be highlighted.
Ten farm deaths have occurred already this year versus 16 in all of 2018. The level of non-fatal farm accidents causing injury is also rising, with a 13% increase compared to a 2012 survey.
Teagasc health and safety specialist advisor Dr John McNamara said recent trends have shown that 17% of annual farm fatalities occurred in July.
“It is vital to give farm safety top priority over the summer months when accidents tend to peak,” he said.
Embrace FARM, the support network for those affected by farm accidents, will host its annual ecumenical remembrance service in the Church of the Most Holy Rosary in Abbeyleix this coming Sunday at 2pm.