Research around key risks and hazards for farmers is being researched by PhD researcher Carloyn Scott from the Atlantic Technological University, Sligo.
The research, which is ongoing, is looking at the development of an effective intervention strategy to support decision-making factors of Irish farmers to reduce injury, illness and fatalities.
So far, Scott has carried out a farm safety questionnaire to identify key risks and hazards to people working in agriculture.
It also aimed to identify perceived barriers to safety and farmers’ attitudes to occupational health and safety.
Scott has also taken a review of accident causation models to understand the theory behind accidents on farms.
The most recent phase of her research looked at the development and validation of a farm accident causation model which explains the factors that contribute to farm accidents in Ireland in a graphical image.
Scott's next phase is to test the usability of the Irish farm accident causation model on farmers.
Results so far
The results of Scott's first phase was that the majority of farmers thought that health and safety training for livestock handling and agricultural vehicles is most useful.
Confined spaces and diseases training were deemed least useful by the farmers.
What farmers perceived as the biggest barriers to safety on Irish farms were heavy workloads and time constraints.
One-fifth of farmers said that workload is always a barrier to safety on farms, while 17% of farmers said that workload is always a barrier.