Over the past five years, agriculture has accounted for 45% of all fatalities in Irish workplaces. No age group has been spared and the deaths involve young, old and everybody in between. The pain, human suffering and economic loss that accompanies all serious and fatal accidents is immense and I would like to extend my sympathy to all farm families and communities that have been affected.

As a farming community, we must refocus our efforts to change the alarming farm safety track record. In FBD, we invest significant resources to try to understand and build awareness of the risks associated with farming. Unsafe working practices are never acceptable. Now is the time to challenge ourselves to work more safely and to stop taking risks. We need to work together to break the cycle of risk-taking behaviour.

I believe that if we can create a positive safety culture on farms, behavioural change and safer farming practices will follow. Challenge yourself and make safety a priority for you and your family.