2023 marks the eleventh annual Farm Safety Week, the collaborative campaign led by the IFA within Ireland.
The campaign aims brings together farming organisations from across the country on the topic of farm safety. Eleven years on farming still has the poorest safety record of any occupation, why is this and more importantly what are we going to do about it?
The IFA wants all farmers to be able to work and come home each evening. It is crucial that Irish farms are amongst the safest places to work which is why the organisation have created a dedicated resource to support and improve safety awareness amongst farmers and farm families.
For the past number of years, to mark the week, IFA has identified a survivor of a farm accident and encouraged them to tell their story to raise awareness on this issue. Our farm accident survivor this year is Ella Casey from Ballymahon in Co. Longford. Ella survived a farm accident where she was knocked unconscious with gases following agitation in the dairy shed she was working in. Despite leaving the 40 minutes to pass, Ella was the victim of lingering gases. Watch Ella’s story below:
Encouraging farmers to take time this week to review working practices to ensure their farm is safe, the IFA president, Tim Cullinan said, “the rate of farm accidents and fatalities is too high, and we need to make a change and think safety first. We must reduce the risks in our workplace. Every safety procedure reduces the risk of accident or worse. We need to adopt a stronger culture of farm safety, and we are asking farmers to do this now.”
Health and Safety Authority (HSA) statistics on work-related fatalities in agriculture in Ireland 2013-2022 show:
- 45% of deaths were caused by tractors and farm vehicles such as quad bikes and loaders.
- 18% of farm fatalities involved work with livestock.
- On average, 19 people are killed in farm accidents every year.
- Attacks by cows with calves accounted for 29% of fatalities caused by livestock.
- Quad bikes make up 12% of vehicle-related deaths.
For more information and to see changes that you can make on your farm today, please see the IFA’s website here for more details.