2014 was the worst year for deaths on farms with another fatality being added at the end of December.
A 40-year old Cork man was crushed by a JCB while he fed his cattle, and his death was the 25th to occur on Irish farms last year. Five of those deaths included children and the toll is up 10 on the same period in 2013.
Health and Safety Authority Chief Executive Martin O’Halloran said one of the challenges in ensuring farm safety was the fact that farms were also family homes.
He pointed out that machinery was the biggest factor in farm accidents last year and added, “There is no logic in allowing children anywhere near farm machinery unless there is absolute total supervision”.
He said that children and machinery must not go together.
“One of the challenges here is that it is also the home, the family home,” Mr O’Halloran said.
“Wherever there is machinery, we would say there is absolutely no logic whatsoever to allow children anywhere near that, unless there is absolute, total supervision, because things can happen uncontrollably in a matter of a flash.”
Meanwhile IFA and Acorn Independent Merchants, have joined forces to champion the IFA’s new national farm safety campaign ‘SAVE LIVES, Think Safety, Farm Safely’. Acorn is the first agri-business to sign up and agree to print the SAVE LIVES logo on all products produced by Acorn.
“By having the SAVE LIVES, Think Safety, Farm Safely logo on feed and fertiliser bags and delivery trucks, we hope it will act as a constant reminder to farmers to adhere to safe working practices and reduce risks,” said President, Eddie Downey. “I hope that all co-ops and merchants will support the campaign around the country.”