8 deaths on Irish farms this year: ‘Farmers have to put safety first’

Farmers must put safety first on their farms – because not doing so puts them, their children and their neighbours at risk, the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) has warned.

In a statement on the matter, IFA president Tim Cullinan stressed:

“As farmers we have to take the lead role in addressing this issue and that starts at home on our own farms.

There have been eight confirmed deaths on Irish farms this year. This is not just a statistic – behind the numbers are heartbroken families.

Cullinan said his organisation’s stance on farm safety is clear: Farmers have to put safety first on their farms.

“The reality of the figures of injury and death on farms is devastating for the families involved.

“Farmers need to be serious about recognising the dangers of their workplace. They need to minimise all risks while taking on every job, both for themselves and others,” he said.

Noting that Covid-19 has resulted in more children and young adults being at home on farms, the president stressed that this increases the risk of injury and death.

We are also in silage season, with contractors and machinery operators working flat out trying to get through the workload.

Cullinan noted that it is also the middle of the breeding season with cows, young calves and stock bulls which can be especially dangerous at this time of year and as the summer progresses.

“Caution is also needed for those who operate quad bikes on farms.

“While they are a very useful tool for any farm, they are also high risk particularly if driven too quickly or with passengers,” he added.

Farmers must: slow down; plan the job out; use proper equipment; and keep others back. There is nothing more precious than life – the work will always get done.

“Finally, IFA offers our sincere sympathy to all the families that have lost loved ones on Irish farms over the years,” Cullinan concluded.

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