Farm deaths accounted for almost half of all work fatalities

SAFETY First farm death of 2023 has occurred

Farmers have been encouraged to review safety practices on their farms this January, to ensure a working environment free from hazards in 2023.

The comments come with the latest figures published by the Health and Safety Authority (HSA), and coincides with news of the first farm fatality of 2023 has already been recorded. A fatal farm accident associated with a tractor has occurred on January 2 to a young farmer in his 20s.

The HSA reported 12 fatal farm workplace accidents in 2022, which represents just under half of all workplace fatalities (26) last year.

Of the fatal farm workplace accidents to date in 2022, 59% (seven) were to persons aged 65 or older; 33% (four) were among persons aged 55 to 64 years and 8% (one) was in the 45 to 54 years old category.

Major causes associated with farm workplace fatalities are farm vehicles and machinery 59% (seven); falls from heights and falling objects 33% (four) and slurry drowning 8% (one).

Key safety messages from 2022 data include:

Particular attention needs to be paid to the safety of ‘senior’ farmers. Family members can greatly assist such persons by discussing practical risk assessment.

Moving vehicles such as tractors, teleporters and ATV’s pose a high risk to persons in close vicinity of them.

Use operating techniques to keep farm vehicles under control at all times.

Park vehicles safely and particularly ensure that they cannot roll forwards or backwards.

Take precautions when accessing heights such as hay or straw stacks or roofs.

Watch out for insecure loads at heights which can fall and kill

Ensure that slurry and water tanks are securely fenced.

Over the winter months, darkness increases risk.

Complete or update your Risk Assessment Document at the start of 2023 and implement any actions necessary health and safety on your farm.