'Accidents increasingly lethal with increasing age'
A combination of farmer behaviours and the ageing profile of the farm population are leading to the rising trend in farm deaths.
This is a main finding of a long term geo-demographic study jointly conducted by Teagasc and the Health and Safety Authority.
The study's lead researcher, Dr David Meredith of Teagasc's Rural Economy Development Programme said that the study examined farm workplace death patterns since 1993 in relation to population, geography, primary causes of fatalities and the timing of deaths.
The overall aim of the research is to uncover trends that will be of assistance in cutting the farm death toll.
Dr Meredith noted that while the average number of deaths was 18 per year between 1993 and 2013, in four of the last five years farm deaths have been substantially higher than this average.
Dr Meredith stated that "while age is not a primary cause of fatalities it does help explain some of the trends that have become more prominent in recent years.
"Fatalities amongst the population of farmers under 45 years of age since 2009 are below the long run average."
In contrast, deaths among farmers between 45 and 64 years of age are 57pc above the long run average for this group.