Farmer airlifted to hospital after serious accident in Arigna

A Co. Roscommon farmer was airlifted to hospital after an accident on a farm, according to reports from Shannonside.

The incident happened yesterday morning at a farm near Arigna and involved a 57-year-old man.

Initial reports had suggested that the accident involved livestock, but that is thought to no longer be the case.

An air ambulance was called to the scene and reportedly landed at the nearby Arigna Mining Experience Centre, after which the man was brought to Galway University College Hospital. According to An Garda Siochana, the man was later transferred to Beaumont Hospital; he is believed to have suffered head injuries.

Meanwhile, the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) is inspecting almost 500 farms, as part of a month-long campaign.

The intensive farm inspection campaign began on March 1; the HSA is placing a particular focus on the safe handling of livestock.

The inspections are aimed at reducing the number of accidents resulting in injury and death on farms.

According to the HSA, March typically proves to be a high-risk month, due to activities like calving.

It is important that farmers take the time to minimise dangerous situations, Senior Inspector with the Health and Safety Authority, Pat Griffin, said recently.

“I would encourage farmers to take time to understand the basics of animal behaviour and be alert for signs of aggression.

“In particular, care is needed around cows with a new-born calf when they can be unpredictable and much more likely to attack.

Never turn your back on a cow with a new-born calf. Have a planned escape route and keep children and inexperienced handlers well away.

“The calving area should provide adequate space, be tidy, well-bedded with clean straw and be clearly lit and free of obstructions.

“Also, well designed calving pens and gates are important and help minimise the direct physical contact between the cow, or heifer, and farmer,” he said.

Griffin also encouraged farmers to ask for help during the calving period.

“Farmers are working long hours, often with broken sleep, so fatigue and general tiredness can also be a factor. Our message is simple, stay alert, don’t take risks and get help when it’s needed.