Two die in accidents on farms in Wexford and Offaly

Two men died in accidents involving farm vehicles in counties Wexford and Offaly yesterday. Four people have been killed in farm-related deaths so far this year after a fatality in Co Roscommon at the weekend.

Two die in accidents on farms in Wexford and Offaly

In Moneyribbon near Gorey, Co Wexford, a man in his 20s died when it appears that a quad bike overturned on a farm. It is believed that the vehicle went into a ditch or a stream and emergency services were alerted at around 6.30am.

At 8am, a death was reported from a farm in Fivealley near Birr, Co Offaly. It is understood that the man in his 70s was killed when a tractor he had been using rolled over him in a field.

Health and Safety Authority (HSA) inspectors were sent to the scene of both accidents and are carrying out investigations into the circumstances.

The four farm fatalities this year are among nine workplace deaths known to the HSA in 2017. At this stage last year, there had been three farm deaths.

Although total workplace fatalities fell from 56 in 2015 to 44 last year, the numbers in the agriculture sector rose from 18 to 21.

There have been nearly 200 deaths in the sector in the past decade, more than a quarter of which involved tractors and other farm vehicles. They account for slightly more deaths than those related to farm machinery.

There have been 30 people killed when they were crushed or trapped by a vehicle between 2007 and last year, and eight died in quad accidents. The HSA is planning 2,000 farm safety inspections this year and an updated code of practice for safety on farms is also to be published.

Sinn Féin agriculture spokesman Martin Kenny urged all those engaged in farming to comply with guidelines and regulations, and said the HSA must be fully resourced to do its job to prevent workplace accidents.

“These men were part of the farming community and we are all affected by such tragedies,” he said.

Meanwhile, the funeral takes place in Arigna, Co Roscommon today of 61-year-old Tommy Flynn who died on Sunday after a farm accident on Friday morning.

The father-of-two had been airlifted to Galway University Hospital and later to Beaumont Hospital after suffering serious head injuries.

Mr Flynn worked for Eir for the past 40 years, and was a member of the company’s repair field force.

While nearly three-quarters of work-related deaths in 2016 involved men aged 25 to 65, nine of those killed in farming accidents were over 65.

The HSA plans to conduct 4,000 inspections in the construction sector this year. There were nine construction fatalities in 2016, down from 11 the year before.

Nearly half of workplace deaths last year involved vehicles, but the number in the transportation and storage sector dropped from four in 2015 to one in 2016.

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