In this year the highest proportion of farm accidents were reported on dairy farms so we will focus on this system for purpose of this exercise.
Among many other questions, the autumn survey asked farmers to rank five sources of risk on their farm from one to five according to their relative importance. The most important factor was given a value of one and the least important a value of five.
The table below shows the ranking for each risk factor.
It is evident from the graphic that market risk was considered to be the most important risk factor. In terms of the other risk factors, it was found that personal risk, such as health, accidents and successor, was given an average ranking of 3.08. Farmers therefore considered this factor to be of roughly average importance relative to other factors.
Yet almost one in 10 of these farms reported a farm accident, ranging from minor trips and falls to more serious accidents, occurring from 2007 to 2011.
Farm economics and statistics
Farm economics in general is the art of providing for all the wants of the farm family and seeking to secure a certain level of subsistence for all the household inhabitants by maximising farm productivity, creating wealth, and maintaining financial stability.
But sometimes you need to look beyond the statistics - to tell the human story. When a statistic relates to an individual and other people, it is not merely a statistic no more.
Recent research undertaken, representing 88,000 farms nationally, using supplementary survey data collected as part of the Teagasc National Farm Survey (NFS) shows 8pc of farms reported the occurrence of a farm accident in the period 2007 to Autumn 2011.
It indicates that approximately 2,500 accidents occur on farms annually with the vast majority of these requiring medical treatment, while almost half required hospital inpatient treatment.
A large proportion of all fatal workplace accidents occur in agriculture.
There were 30 fatal farm accidents last year, the highest number of fatalities recorded as a result of farm accidents in over 20 years.
Is it now time to survey the younger members of farm families and by doing so increase the awareness of the younger folk of the risks that lurk on their farm? We all must endeavour in all ways possible to prevent a repeat of those harrowing statistics for 2015. By each taking a small step we can work together to make a change.
Don't become another statistic this summer. Behind each statistic is an individual, a family.
Don't let one misjudgement or oversight be the one that you live to regret. Act now and make your farm safety fit.
'Getting the family involved will make farms safer for everyone'
Farm families are being urged to sit down today to mark National Farm Safety Awareness Day by reviewing their risk assessment documents.
IFA president Eddie Downey urged all farmers to take time out from the busy working day to analyse the risks and potential hazards on their farm and yard.
"Summer is a very busy time on farms so it is important that the young people are aware of the potential risks. By getting the whole family involved I believe we will bring about real change in behaviour to safety and make farming safer," said IFA farm family chair Maura Canning.
She pointed out that the day organised as part of their ongoing 'Save Lives - Think Safety, Farm Safely' campaign was about getting the entire family involved in reviewing safety on the farm. The campaign was launched to help encourage farmers to change their work practices to potentially save lives.
Mr Downey said attitudes to farm safety are changing.
"The response to the Farm Safety Scheme shows that if farmers are supported, they will invest in safety. IFA will continue to work with and support farm families through initiatives like the Farm Safety Risk Assessment planner to improve safety on farms".