Safety warning for farmers 'making hay'
Farmers and agri-contractors have been urged to put safety first as many are busy making hay and silage amid soaring temperatures.
Agriculture Minister Michael Creed warned a combination of high-powered machinery and fatigue due to long hours behind the wheel are factors that can increase the risk of accidents.
"Farmers and contractors are taking full advantage of the current excellent spell of weather and are literally making hay while the sun shines. This of course means longer working days and added pressure to get seasonal harvesting work done," said Mr Creed.
"This weather also means a lot of children are out and about on farms, and it is critical that safety is foremost in everyone's mind and that we take steps to avoid injuries, or worse, the loss of life. I have too many times seen the devastating impact that farm accidents can have on a family."
So far this year half of all workplace deaths have taken place on farms - with 13 deaths linked to agriculture. Safety experts have also warned the farm can be a high-risk place for older people, with eight deaths so far this year over the age of 70.
Mr Creed also urged farmers to check and ensure all safety precautions are in place on farms with school holidays fast approaching.
Teagasc health and safety expert Dr John McNamara has urged farmers to give safety top priority to avoid further tragic loss of life. Farmers have also been encouraged to ensure children are not allowed to play around the farmyard or fields when silage is being made.