IFA boss urges farmers to devote first fortnight of 2018 to safety issues

Pat Murphy: Make a list of safety concerns.
Pat Murphy: Make a list of safety concerns.

THE Chairman of Galway IFA has asked all farmers to take the first couple of weeks of the New Year to address any safety issues that have concerns over on their farms.

Pat Murphy told the Farming Tribune that the shockingly high death and serious injury rate on Irish farms just had to come down over the coming year – in 2017, 24 people lost their lives in agricultural related accidents.

Tractors, farm vehicles and machinery/equipment took the heaviest toll on Irish farms during 2017 claiming 15 lives – the next two biggest killers were livestock (3) and falls from heights (3).

Fourteen of the farmers who lost their lives during the course of last year were aged 65 or over – some were in their 70s and 80s – prompting the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) to make a special appeal to older farmers to take more care.

The HSA have asked elderly farmers to always bear in mind that they are not as agile as they once were and that this will leave them at particular risk to getting out of the way of livestock or farm machinery.

Pat Murphy said that one of the problems with older farmers was that they often worked on their own and he pleaded with them to always have a fully charged-up mobile on their person when out on the farm.

“This week, I am calling on all farmers, to do their own little safety audit on their farms and to spend a few bob on ensuring that all guards are in place on their tractors and that all brakes are in perfect working order.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.