Farmers urged to put safety first as death toll rises

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Stock photo
Claire Fox

Claire Fox

THE number of farm deaths so far in 2017 has equalled the total number of fatalities for all of 2016.

The Health and Safety Authority told the Farming Independent that the two deaths that occurred on farms in Cork and Wicklow over the weekend bring the total of farm accident deaths to 21 – already matching the total from last year.

A man in his 50s was killed following a fatal fall in Kilgarrif, Clonakilty, Co Cork on Sunday, and a man in his 70s was fatally injured by a fall from a ladder in Co Wicklow on Saturday.

Pat Griffin of the HSA said that it’s important that farmers hire competent contractors, while Teagasc health and safety advisor John McNamara added that farmers have to “start putting themselves first”.

“Do not rush. Take a steady approach when it comes to repairs. Be cautious, stand back and take your time,” Mr McNamara added.

“Farmers have to start putting themselves first.

All this week mart managers across the country are set to make a speech which will be followed by a minute’s silence to mark the deaths of loved ones killed in farm accidents.

Michael Spellman, chairman of the Irish Co-operative Organisation Society said: “Safety must not be left to chance; farmers need to manage health and safety on their farm and effectively plan work activities.

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“This planning must include planned safety maintenance on farm tractors and equipment.”

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