Over 500 people have died in farm accidents in Ireland since the 1980s and farm accidents account for 50% of all workplace accidents in Ireland, that’s despite the fact that farms account for only 6% of workplaces. Farming is in a word the most dangerous profession in Ireland.
So how do we prevent farm accidents?
Tractors and machinery account for the largest percentage in farm deaths but every death is avoidable. Here are some simple tips to remember
1. Do not operate machinery when tired. Know your limits.
2. Young Children should not be near heavy machinery or tractors, keep them away.
3. Rollover cover is important. A proper cab could save your life, if you have an open air tractor make sure you have a roll over bar fitted.
4. Cover unguarded moving parts
5. Slow down – Speed kills in tractors just as it does in cars. Don’t rush take your time.
6. Visibility – on Roads make sure you can be seen and are seen. Ensure all your lights are working, secure loads and plan journeys accordingly. For example you may need help or signage to turn into your property or lane. Plan ahead!
7.Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Some jobs can be done on your own but doing things the quick way does not mean it is the safe way. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
8.Beware of uncovered PTO’s- we all know the risks don’t be stupid.
Every year farmers are killed by livestock. Be aware of the dangers of handling large animals. Have a look at our products which take the danger out of cattle handling. Also make sure of the following:
1. Make sure handlers are competent and agile.
2. Work out an escape route or refuge in advance of working with cattle.
3. Know and understand the basics of cattle behaviour.
4. Maximise the use of Artificial Insemination to minimise the number of bulls required.
5. Use bulls that produce docile offspring.
6. Be careful around cows with new born calves, they are more likely to attack.
7. Remember that cows that are ‘on-heat’ are unpredictable.
8. Try to keep cattle calm when handling them.
9. Use a stick to assist in directing cattle.
10. Dehorn calves early to prevent horn growth.
11. Watch for warning signs of animal aggressiveness, especially bulls and newly calved cows.
12. Cull fractious and difficult cattle as soon as possible.
13. Exercise caution administering veterinary treatments.
14. Protect yourself against biohazards with proper personal hygiene.
15. Wear suitable protective clothing and footwear. It might just save your life
16. Use well designed facilities.
17. Regularly check and maintain facilities such as the crush, gate latches and fences.
18. Keep ground surfaces clean as much as possible.
These simple guidelines might just save your life, remember a farm is nothing without its farmer.