Dramatic rise in farm accidents with dairy farmers most likely to be injured
Farm accidents have risen by 13pc in the last five years and by 31pc in the last 10n years, according to new figures from Teagasc.
This is the stark finding of a national survey of farm accidents conducted by the Teagasc National Farm Survey (NFS). The survey found that in the five year period 2012-2017 that 11pc of farms had an accident and in total 2,814 accidents occurred.
By farming system, the survey indicates that dairy farms had the highest accident rate of 18pc over the survey period compared to tillage (12pc) and sheep (11pc) farms with the cattle systems of rearing (9pc) and finishing (8pc) reporting lower accident levels.
The survey indicates that 42pc of accidents involved livestock with farm vehicles or machinery involved in a further 25pc. Trips or falls resulted in 13pc of farm accident followed by chainsaws (7pc) and farm buildings (6pc).
The proportion of accidents involving farm vehicles or machinery has more than doubled from 2011 to 2017, while livestock related accidents increased by 26pc. The survey, however, indicates a marked decline in the proportion of accidents due to trips and falls.
The survey showed that almost two-thirds of farm accidents occurred in the farmyard (64pc) and a further 15pc in farm buildings. Almost one-fifth of accidents (19pc) were in fields with only 2pc on farm roadways or lanes.
The 2017 Teagasc NFS survey indicates that the vast majority of on-farm accidents (92pc) involved a family member, with 80pc occurring to the farmer. Some 12pc involved a spouse or another family member. The remaining proportion of accidents involved workers (5pc) and others (3pc).
Almost all farm accident victims (97pc) required medical treatment with 73pc attending hospital, a further 19pc attended a doctor and 4pc received first aid. Tragically 1pc of such accidents reported resulted in a fatality.