Saturday 1 October 2016

'Don't cut corners to make up for lost time'

The recent poor weather has heightened safety risks on farms

Published 20/04/2016 | 02:30

Thomas Moloney pictured speaking to Daniel Loughney from Ballina Co Mayo, about the WoodCracker which he uses to fell trees near rail lines. Photo: Frank McGrath.
Thomas Moloney pictured speaking to Daniel Loughney from Ballina Co Mayo, about the WoodCracker which he uses to fell trees near rail lines. Photo: Frank McGrath.

Farmers are being warned to take extra care this spring as the relentless wet weather will place extra pressures on farm activity.

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Teagasc's Michael McCarthy warned that with poor weather leaving many areas sodden much of the workload was going to be "bottled" into a short period of time.

"People are going to be under an awful lot of pressure to get things done and to get them done fast but try not to take the eye off the ball as regards safety," said Mr McCarthy at a Teagasc farm safety day on the farm and contracting business of Thomas Moloney, the Zurich Farming Independent Farmer of the Year safety winner.

"You only get one chance at a lot of this stuff and if that chance goes then lives are changed.

"That is when accidents happen when people are rushing."

Safety culture

Teagasc regional manager Donal Mullane pointed out a "culture of safety" around a farm is key.

"There have been three deaths so far this year and for those three families that is horrendous and there have been numerous injuries as well," he said.

"We can never fully eliminate the risk but what we can do is reduce it as much as possible."

Mr Mullane pointed out many of the common factors in farm accidents were children and older people, machinery, animals and slurry.

Figures compiled by the HSA on agriculture deaths from 2006-2015 show tractors accounted for 29pc or 57 deaths, machinery 37 lives lost or 19pc and livestock were a factor in 26 deaths or 14pc.

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