The Health and Safety Authority (H.S.A.) has reported 12 fatal farm workplace accidents in 2022.  This represents half (50%) the total of all workplace fatalities (26) in 2022.

It takes some time for H.S.A. to receive and investigate fatal workplace accidents, so further fatal accidents may be reported for 2022. Thus the fatal workplace accident data for 2022 is currently provisional.

Of the fatal farm workplace accidents to date in 2022, 59% (7) were to persons aged 65 or older; 33% (4) were among persons aged 55 to 64 years and 8% (1) was in the 45 to 54 years old category.  Occupation is now used for classification of workplace fatal accidents and one fatality occurred at an off-farm workplace.

Major causes associated with farm workplace fatalities to-date in 2022 are farm vehicles and machinery 59% (7); falls from heights and falling objects 33% (4) and slurry drowning 8% (1).

Tragically, a fatal farm accident associated with a tractor has occurred on 2nd January 2023 to a young farmer in his 20’s.

Key safety messages from 2022 data include:

  • Particular attention needs to be paid to the safety of ‘senior’ farmers. Family members can greatly assist such persons by discussing practical risk assessment.
  • Moving vehicles such as tractors, teleporters and ATV’s pose a high risk to persons in close vicinity of them.
  • Use operating techniques to keep farm vehicles under control at all times.
  • Park vehicles safely and particularly ensure that they cannot roll forwards or backwards.
  • Take precautions when accessing heights such as hay or straw stacks or roofs.
  • Watch out for insecure loads at heights which can fall and kill
  • Ensure that slurry and water tanks are securely fenced.
  • Over the winter months, darkness increases risk.
  • Complete or update your Risk Assessment Document at the start of 2023 and implement any actions necessary health and safety on your farm.

Fatal farm workplace accidents were reported for 11 counties in 2022.

John McNamara, Health and Safety Specialist, Teagasc, has urged all farmers to review farm safety practices on their farms this January, to ensure a safe working environment for farm families in 2023.

Source: Teagasc

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