Almost 20{b28040870e2dde01f25bc5b483275391226143b34751c4bb8f1feeecaec925a1} of farm fatalities caused by falls or falling objects

Nearly 20{b28040870e2dde01f25bc5b483275391226143b34751c4bb8f1feeecaec925a1} of farm fatalities are caused by a person falling from a height or being struck by a falling object, that is according to the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA).

‘Falls’ was the key theme of the third day of Farm Safety Week, as farming carries an above-average risk of falling accidents, the IFA added.

Despite the promising news of some behavioural changes within the industry, agriculture continues to have the poorest safety record of any occupation in Ireland.

Falls from height can lead to long-term injuries and make it difficult to remain in farming, according to the Chief Executive of the Health and Safety Authority, Martin O’Halloran.

“Most accidents of this type happen either because the work is not properly planned, the risks are not recognised, proper precautions are not taken, or the equipment used is either defective, not appropriate, or used incorrectly.”

“I am sure many farmers believe it will ‘only take a few minutes’, and take risks in the hope that simply being very careful will be enough,” he said.

Meanwhile, Stephanie Berkeley from the Farm Safety Foundation – the charity behind the Farm Safety Week UK and Ireland initiative – warned farmers that they are not invincible.

“It is human nature to think ‘it won’t happen to me,’ but unfortunately it can, especially if we continue to take risks, whether major or minor.

“Taking preventative, proactive measures is one of the best things we can do for our farm and workers. Most preventative practices are common sense.

“By working collectively as an industry we hope that we can persuade farmers of all ages that this week, and every week, farm safety is a lifestyle, not a slogan,” she concluded.

For more information on Farm Safety Week see here or follow @IFAmedia or #FarmSafetyWeek on Twitter.

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