8th March, 2013
The Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association is urging caution as the recent spell of good weather and calving and lambing combine to make farms extremely busy at the moment.
ICSA Connaught/Ulster vice president and spokesman on farm safety, John Flynn, said, “With 139,829 active farms in Ireland according to the CSO, it is estimated that around 500,000 people are exposed to health and safety risks while carrying out farm-related activities. Last year, 21 people lost their lives on Irish farms. Farming will always carry inherent risks and there is no simple solution to the problem, but I would urge farmers to take stock and prioritise farm safety at this busy time of year.”
“The majority of on-farm deaths last year resulted from incidents involving farm machinery and livestock. With calving and lambing either underway or about to get underway on the majority of farms, and the good weather leading to an increase in activities such as slurry spreading, I think that statistic is worth noting in particular. An increased workload can lead to fatigue and errors that would otherwise have been avoided. In addition, one thing that is always a danger is a cow after calving. Farmers need to be extra careful. It is not always easy when there is a newborn calf that needs feeding and perhaps we should be looking at rural development funds to provide support for the installation of better calving and handling facilities on-farm.”