Sligo farmer Aengus Mannion was almost crushed to death when a teleporter rolled over him on a farm in Navan, Co. Meath, in 2009.

The Sligo native said thankfully a neighbour heard his cries and raised the alarm.

Sligo farmer tale

Speaking as part of the Health and Safety Authority’s (HSA’s) farm safety message ahead of the 2021 silage season, Aengus explained: “It all happened in a flash.

“I parked the teleporter to check a fence – and next thing I knew the teleporter got me from behind and the blade rammed me into a tree,” said Aengus Mannion.

“The pain was excruciating. I thought both my legs had been chopped off. There was blood everywhere.

“I was an hour and 20 minutes screaming for help, drifting in and out of consciousness,” the Sligo farmer recalled.

“I thought at one stage, ‘this is it. I’m going to die’. Luckily, great neighbours heard my cries and phoned the emergency services.

“I spent nine hours in surgery the first night and have undergone a total of 29 operations.

“Thankfully, I’m back on my feet – but many are not so fortunate.

“It’s so important for all farmers to put the right safety checks in place and make it a top priority each and every day,” he added.

Medical perspective

Dr. Éimear Smith, consultant in rehabilitation medicine, medical director of the Spinal Cord Injury Programme at the National Rehabilitation Hospital and consultant at the National Spinal Injuries Unit in the Mater Hospital stated:

“In the National Rehabilitation Hospital, we see a number of farmers every year who have sustained sometimes life-threatening, but always life-changing injuries.

“Patients with traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injury may see some improvements in their condition but are usually left with life-long impairments. Traumatic limb amputation is unfortunately permanent.

“Farmers sustaining these injuries often spend a number of months in hospital between acute care and rehabilitation, learning to adapt to their new circumstances.

“While we encourage all patients in rehabilitation to return to work, this simply isn’t possible for some farmers.

“I would encourage all farmers to engage with the HSA guidance and safety advice for tractors and machinery, during this busy season,” Dr. Smith concluded.