A leading European farm health and safety initiative on safety culture and risk management in agriculture (SACURIMA) has presented interim findings to EU officials and farmer organisation representatives.
In its submission, the project leaders of EU COST Action have called for measures based on the fatal and non-fatal injury levels, the level of ill-health, stress and suicide in agriculture across Europe.
Pat Griffin of the HSA and communications manager for the action stated that an Irish-produced DVD showing the appalling consequences of farm injuries and ill health made a strong impact on all persons met by the SACURIMA delegation.
“This brought home strongly the realisation of the consequences of farm injuries and ill health,” he said.
Sixteen farm deaths have occurred - 10 victims were over 60 years of age, with seven of these over 70 years old. The fatal accidents were associated with livestock (6); vehicles/ machinery (5); being crushed or a collapsing object (3) and drowning (2).
Teagasc health and safety specialist Dr John McNamara said that farmers should give their safety and that of their families and workers top priority over the winter period.
“Particular attention needs to be given to the safety of older farmers when working near machinery or livestock,” he said.