In 2019 twelve farmers over 65 years lost their lives due to farm accidents. This represents 66% of the total number of fatalities. Getting older impacts on a person’s ability to undertake farm related tasks. Farm safety specialists Francis Bligh and John Mc Namara have some relevant advice
Tractors, machinery, livestock or falls from height were the main causes of farm accidents in older farmers. Getting older can affect a person’s mobility, eyesight balance and reaction time. It is important that these changes are recognised and farmers take account of their changing abilities.
Some important safety tips
- Assess dangers before carrying out hazardous work, particularly involving tractors, machinery, livestock or working at heights.
- Properly maintained machinery will significantly reduce the risk.
- Always ask the question before each job.
- Can I carry out this job safely.
- Do I need better facilities
- Do I need to get help for specific jobs.
- Do I need to change my farming system (less calving cows to more drystock cattle) to help reduce the physical demands associated with calving cows.
- Use your phone to keep in touch. Always carry a mobile phone when farming and inform someone about where you are going and when you expect to be back.
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