Farm Fatalities Remain High in 2012
To date, the HSA website shows that 18 people have been killed on Irish farms compared to 22 people who were killed on Irish farms during 2011. To put this in perspective, in 2007 at the tail end of the construction boom, 18 people were killed in construction works which at the time was seen as having an unacceptably high level of accidents and fatalities. Over the course of the past 5 years, there has been an average of 18 fatalities on Irish farms each year and in September this year, news broke about the deaths of 3 members of the Spence family in Co. Down where it is believed the accident occurred when members of the Spence family initially tried to rescue a family pet who strayed into a slurry pit before themselves becoming victims. Only 4 weeks later, another farmer in County Westmeath died when he too was killed in an accident concerning slurry tanks.
The Health and Safety Authority have run a number of initiatives to raise awareness, including the setting up of a stand at the National Ploughing Championships in Wexford this year, and in August the HSA and the Irish Farmers Association made a joint appeal to farmers to give farm safety their highest priority. The HSA/IFA appeal came following the deaths of 3 farmers during July.
For those involved in agriculture, there are some very useful online resources which are free to use and which can help with managing risk and avoiding accidents. These include:
Note: Farmers who employ 3 or fewer persons do not need a safety statement if they comply with the Farm Safety Code of Practice.