80% of farm deaths for first five months of 2016 associated with vehicles and machines

Fatal farm accident data shows that 80% of deaths in the first five months of 2016 were associated with vehicles and machinery.

Five persons lost their lives in farm accidents in the first five months, compared to six in 2015, and 12 in 2014.

To reduce the risk of farm deaths and injury, Teagasc Health and Safety Specialist Dr John McNamara has emphasised the need for caution when working with, or near farm tractors, vehicles or machinery.

He said, “Reversing the recent trend of farm deaths, due to ‘knock-downs or being crushed’ by tractors and machinery, will only be achieved by strong farmer vigilance.

Farmers should also pay particular attention to parking tractors safely, applying the handbrake and lowering hydraulic equipment, to reduce the safety risk to themselves and others.”

Dr McNamara also called for high vigilance when using power driven machinery, due to the possibility of gruesome entanglement fatalities and injuries.

“All power shaft and machine guards need to be kept in place and the power must always be switched off before approaching a machine,” he said.

The Teagasc specialist also called for greater vigilance on farms related to the safety of children as school holidays approach.

He said that over the last 10 years, fatal accidents involving children were associated with tractors (75%); falls or collapses (17%), and drowning (8%).

  • A major practical health and safety exhibit will take place as part of the Teagasc National Beef Open Day, ‘Beef 2016’, on Tuesday, July 5, at the Research and Innovation Centre, Grange, Co Meath.

It will include:

  • An accident victim outlining the consequences of his accident.
  • Childhood safety, including installing a farm safe play area.
  • Livestock housing and handling facilities with particular emphasis on new designs of cow calving and bull housing facilities.
  • Safety with PTO covers, machine attachments, chainsaws and ATVs.
  • Legal requirements to implement risk assessment on farms.
  • New legal requirements for farm vehicles and implements used on public roads.
  • New legal requirements of pesticide usage including sprayer training and testing.
  • Farmers health, including blood pressure checking by Irish Hospice Foundation nurses.
  • Embrace Farm will outline the support services they provide.
  • Information on the safety components of the Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme (TAMS) and Knowledge Transfer (KT) scheme.
  • Farm safety with ESB Networks.
  • New approaches for ‘safe working at heights’ on farms.
  • Slurry gas dangers and preventative approaches.

A new advisory booklet ‘Build in Safety’, to advise farmers of legal and practical aspects of managing construction of farm buildings, sponsored by FBD Trust, will be launched at Beef 2016.

The Teagasc ‘Beef 2016’ event takes place from 10.30 am to 4pm, and is sponsored by FBD Trust.

See www.teagasc.ie/events/2016/20160705.asp for more information.


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