Safety first as calving season is set to get under way

, said that while there was a decline in farm deaths in 2018
, said that while there was a decline in farm deaths in 2018

SUCKLER and dairy farmers have been urged this week to put safety on top of the agenda as the peak calving season is set to get under way – the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) have already begun a series of intensive farm safety inspections to coincide with this high risk period on farms.

In terms of injuries on Irish farms, livestock are the number one cause of accidents and are second on the list as regards fatalities with machinery the number one killer.

According to the HSA, in the 10-year period from 2009 to 2018, 33 people lost their lives in livestock related incidents in the Republic of Ireland – over half of those (18) involved either cows for heifers.

Senior Inspector with the HSA, Pat Griffin, said that while there was a decline in farm deaths in 2018 (down 40%), there were still far too many deaths in the farming sector as well as a substantial number of serious injuries.

“Working with livestock is a key incident trigger and there is no room for complacency amongst farmers.  During the calving period, increased fatigue and stress levels are common.

“However, early planning and preparation can make a significant difference in the safe management of livestock and help prevent injury or even death,” said Pat Griffin. The HSA have given three basic advice pointers to farmers during the calving season:

■ Is there a plan in place to minimise the risk of attack from a cow when handling a calf to tag, dipping navel or stomach tubing?

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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