The IFA National Farm Safety Awareness Day took place yesterday as figures show 80 lives were lost on farms in the past four years.
Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney said “farming continues to be the most dangerous occupation in Ireland, with an average of 20 fatalities per year over the past four years.”
He welcomed the IFA initiative, which is being supported by Health and Safety Authority (HSA).
Already in 2014 there have been 13 fatalities on our farms of which nine have involved tractors and machinery. The main causes of fatalities are tractors, machinery and drowning.
Last year 16 people, including four children, died as a result of farm accidents. Mr Coveney said “a farmyard can seem like a playground to a child’s eyes, particularly during the summer holiday months. However, children can’t be expected to anticipate the dangers of playing there.”
Noting that farms were both homes and work-places, Mr Coveney said parents need to see potential dangers and set ground rules for children.
Commending the IFA and the HSA, Mr Coveney urged all farmers to embrace safe farming systems.
The IFA initiative, and others such as the Embrace Farm service held in Co Laois last month, are important in highlighting farm safety, he added.
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