75% of Cavan workplace deaths occurred on farms

Three quarters of all workplace fatalities in Cavan over the last 18 years have occurred on farms. The statistics provided by the Health Safety Authority show that between 2004, when figures were first compiled, and last year, a total of 28 workplace fatalities occurred in County Cavan. Of those deaths, 21 were recorded as farm fatalities, which equates to 75%.

Last year was the second worst on record for farm fatalities in County Cavan when the HSA recorded three deaths, surpassed only by 2005 when four farm deaths occurred. Last year's Cavan figures ran contrary to the national trend as there were 38 workplace fatalities in 2021, the lowest figure recorded since the authority was established. Of those, nine were farm related deaths, which means Cavan accounted for 33% of the national figure for farm fatalities last year.

Workplace and farm fatalities in Cavan and Monaghan
YearWorkplace fatalities CavanFarm fatalities CavanWorkplace fatalities MonaghanFarm fatalities Monaghan

The figures for Monaghan make for less harrowing reading. In that same 18 year period there were a total of 19 workplace deaths, with 10 recorded as farm fatalities. This equates to 52.6%.

The most frequent types of incidents documented by the HSA regarding farm fatalities are with machinery or livestock.

Embrace FARM, the farm accident support network, has supported families and individuals affected by farm accidents since it was established in 2014. Each year demand for their service increases.

Freak incident

Catherine Kenneally of Embrace FARM stresses that behind such cold statistics are families affected by grief or loss.

“From what we have learned in being with families affected, there is no one reason why these accidents happen and there is no one solution to prevent them from happening to other families in the future.

“Accidents happen at times to the most safety conscious of people. They are a freak incident that changes the lives for the people affected forever,” Ms Kenneally told the Celt.

“As we strive into a new year, with calving and lambing beginning on many farms in the coming weeks and for some has already begun, it is worth highlighting to everyone that they are not alone in the pressures of farming they are facing.”

The Fitzsimons family from Monaghan have experienced the trauma of losing their beloved father/husband, Peter Fitzsimons in a farm accident in 2020, and have been engaging with Embrace FARM.

“Be safe at everything you do,” the Inniskeen family urge. “Our lives have been turned upside down as a result of this accident. We can assure you that no family wants to go through this. None. Sometimes you just need to slow down to catch up.”