How many people have been killed on Irish farms in the last 10 years?

A large crowd attended the first of a series of farm walks organised by Bord Bia and Teagasc to provide farmers with a greater insight into Bord Bia’s Sustainable Beef and Lamb Assurance Scheme (SBLAS); subsequent walks (dates to be confirmed) will take place on farms across the country.

Farmers listened to talks – on Fergal Doyle’s suckler and sheep farm in Co. Mayo –  from industry experts on topics, including: Origin Green; farm safety; live cattle exports; and meat market access.

Speaking at the farm safety stand, Teagasc’s Jacinta O’Neill highlighted the dangers associated with farming and Bord Bia’s John Gumley shared some of his experiences when inspecting farms across the country.

“The main message we are trying to convey is how easily accidents can happen,” Jacinta explained.

In the last 10 years, there have been 210 people killed on Irish farms; of those, 24 were children and 74 were over the age of 65.

Jacinta highlighted that farm accidents generally don’t happen before 9:00am in the morning. However, as the day progresses, farmers get tired and their concentration lapses, she said.

“The days of the week that accidents are most likely to happen are Friday and Saturday, as we are trying to rush to meet targets that we set out at the start of the week.”

Continuing, she said: “The most frequent time for an accident to happen is between 11:00am and 12:00pm and July is the highest month for farm accidents as it is a very busy time of the year.

“Unfortunately for the population that is involved in farming in Ireland, it is the industry with the highest number of fatalities. Accidents don’t need to happen; we need to take care,” she concluded.