July 21st 2014
According to ICSA Rural Development vice-chairman Seamus Sherlock, many farm accidents may be attributable to lack of concentration on the part of farmers who are struggling to cope with financial stress due to the ongoing beef crisis and savage cuts to farm incomes.
“I encounter farmers on a regular basis who are simply unable to cope with pressures from financial institutions due to a dramatic fall in farm income,” said Mr. Sherlock. “Farmers already work in a very high risk environment with machinery and livestock, and now have the added stress of financial worries, which is causing problems like lack of appetite and sleep deprivation. The latter is also a major cause of fatigue which may also lead to accidents.”
Mr. Sherlock advises farmers to seek help. “Please don’t suffer alone and in silence. There is help out there and a problem shared is a problem halved. ICSA is part of the Green Ribbon Campaign, and a list of support services can be found at www.greenribbon.ie.”
Meanwhile, ICSA Munster vice-president John Halley has highlighted the importance of adequate TAMS II money being available for improving facilities on drystock farms in the interests of health and safety.
“We all know better livestock handling facilities will help to avoid farm accidents, and every farmer wants to have the best and safest facilities available,” said Mr. Halley.
“However, if you are struggling to make ends meet, as many drystock farmers are, investment in expensive handling facilities may simply not be an option. If the Minister is serious about cutting farm accidents and fatalities, then the drystock sector must be prioritised for TAMS II funding.”