Age profile of farmers is biggest risk factor
The farm fatality rate among the over 65s is disproportionately high says HSA senior inspector Pat Griffin
Ireland is not alone in trying to tackle farming's status as the most dangerous workplace.
It is a world-wide problem and in Europe the fact that the farming workforce is predominantly ageing or elderly appears to be a key factor.
The past year has been proof enough of this, with farmers over 65 years of age representing 33pc of the Irish agricultural fatalities in 2014.
"The average age of Irish farmers is 57 years and a serious incidence for an older farmer is more likely to be fatal," explains Health and Safety Authority (HSA) senior inspector, Pat Griffin.
He believes that the fact that Ireland has a higher percentage of family-run farms than some EU countries exacerbates the problem.
"Of particular concern in Ireland and across the EU is the ageing workforce in agriculture, because farmers tend not to retire.
The statistics in relation to the impact on farm safety are difficult to compare, because some countries do not include children or farmers over 65 years in their analysis," he said.
This is despite the fact that an EU study from 2007 showed that 90pc of EU farmers over 55 years old. Put another way, for every farmer under 37 years of age, there are nine over 55 years of age in Europe.