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Sunday 18 March 2018

Age and behaviour link to farm fatalities

David Meredith of Teagasc
David Meredith of Teagasc
Aideen Sheehan

Aideen Sheehan

Behaviour and the older age-profile of farmers are key factors in the rise in farm deaths, a new study by Teagasc has found.

Deaths have been substantially higher than average in the last five years with 30 deaths last year alone.

Farmers aged under 45 years were less likely to die, whereas those aged between 45 and 64 were 57pc more at risk, the study showed.

This was the equivalent of three extra deaths a year of farmers in that age group, said study lead Dr David Meredith of Teagasc.

"Whilst age is not a primary cause of fatalities it does help explain some of the trends that have become more prominent in recent years," he said.

The data indicated a strong behavioural dimension to farm deaths, particularly those involving tractors and machinery.

"The data indicates that accidents become increasingly lethal with increasing age. This highlights the importance of forming habits of safe behaviours at an early age and maintaining these habits," said Dr Meredith.

Louth and Cork have the highest farm fatality rates.

Irish Independent

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