'Never turn your back on a cow after calving'
THE Health and Safety Authority is currently carrying out an intensive farm safety inspection campaign, where some 250 farms nation wide will be inspected with a focus on the safe management of livestock during calving season, when the risk of injury to farmers increases significantly.
Livestock is the number one cause of accidents on Irish farms, accounting for 42pc of all injuries.
In relation to fatalities, incidents involving livestock are the second most common cause.
In the 10-year period from 2009 to 2018, 16pc of all fatal farm accidents (33 deaths) were livestock related, with over half of these (18 deaths) involving cows and heifers.
According to a Senior Inspector with the Health and Safety Authority, 2018 saw a 40pc decline in farm fatalities, but there are still far too many deaths in the agriculture sector , as well as a substantial number of very serious injuries, a lot of which do not even get reported.
Working with livestock is a key incident trigger, and there is no room for complacency amongst farmers.
During calving period particularly now, where there is a focus on compact calving – increased fatigue and stress levels are common.
However, early planning and preparation can make a significant difference in the safe management of livestock and help prevent serious injury or even death.