Sandra McLellan TD says Health and Safety cuts put farmers at risk
Sinn Féin Deputy Sandra McLellan has criticised proposed cuts in Health and Safety Authority inspections in farms, given the high incidence of fatal work accidents in this sector.
Addressing Tánaiste Burton in the Dáil today, Deputy McLellan said;
“So far this year there have been three fatal accidents on Irish farms. These accidents account for 60% of all fatal work accidents since the start of the year while farming accounts for less than 6% of the workforce.
“Last year was the worst year in over two decades for farm deaths. 30 people, five of them children, died on farms - an 87% increase in the number of fatalities on 2013.
“Clearly, the high number of fatal accidents on farms reflecting the particularly difficult working conditions farmers must endure.
“Despite this, the Health and Safety Authority has said it intends cutting inspections. Does the Minister support this?"
“Commissioner Hogan has repeated his threat to reduce farm payment measures for non-compliance in the farm safety area. We need to know, as a matter of urgency, when the new Farm Safety Scheme will be introduced this year?