The €80 investment that can prove a life-saver
Large high-powered machines now play a major factor in many of the deaths and crush injuries around farmyards, explained Teagasc health and safety officer John McNamara.
The year before last he pointed out there were 16 farmers found crushed with horrific injuries. "Children are falling from tractors, people are lying under tractors and not putting the handbrake on," said Mr McNamara highlighting the importance of chocks to keep machinery from moving.
"Any bit of a slope and a machine can move, a variant of it would be people foddering cattle and the tractor moves forward and pins them or people with cattle boxes on jeeps moving and crushing them," he said.
"If you get crushed in the centre of your chest, your lungs are inactivated, the blood can't flow and the outer part of the body turns blue. It is hard to get help as you may not be able to put your hand in your pocket for your phone.
"Keeping machines stable and keeping them in place is crucial for safety - just slowing down and wondering what is around the next corner is key."
Mr McNamara pointed out the types of injuries and deaths from machines may have moved on from PTOs to crush accidents but complacency should not be allowed creep into safety measures around the potentially-deadly PTO shafts.
Teagasc's Michael McCarthy said an €80 shaft cover for a PTO spinning at 1,000rpm can prove lifesaving and urged farmers to investigate the simple to use options on the market.