Farm Ireland

Wednesday 22 November 2017

Farming safety efforts should focus on older farmers - new study

Farms are highly dangerous places with dangerous equipment, leading to avoidable tragedies among all ages.

A new study now says awareness campaigns to reduce farm injuries and deaths should target farmers over 55-years-old.

There should be particular focus on those with extensive machinery, and farmers with livestock.

Campaigns also need to engage with the spouse and family, given the alarming fatality rates involving the family and those under 17 years of age.

Attendance rates at voluntary safety courses in 2011 was as low as 22pc, the study led by Dr Matthew Lee, Department of Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery, University Hospital, Galway showed.

Multimedia, exhibitions and education at annual farming calendar events may help spread awareness.

The study found total deaths due to farm accidents increased between 2010-2014.

The worst year on record was 2014 with 30 deaths, according to the Irish Medical Journal.

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Teagasc recorded more than 50pc of farm fatalities occurred in 2011 among those 65.

Up to 70pc were in those over 55. The lower limb remained the most commonly injured site. This was followed by bones of the head and trunk .

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