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Drop in farm incomes stops farmers seeking help with dangerous tasks – Kenny

24 May, 2017 - by Martin Kenny TD

Speaking in response to the publication of the latest ESRI and Health and Safety Authority research on farm accidents, Sinn Féin spokesperson for Agriculture, Martin Kenny TD said the findings were indicative of the pressure under which farmers are operating now.

The TD for Sligo, Leitrim, West Cavan, and South Donegal said:

“Farming is the occupation with the highest risk of fatalities in Ireland, with a rate nearly ten times the average across occupations between 2009 and 2015 according to the report, which also finds that getting help with difficult tasks is key to improving safety. 

“Farmers being able to help each other out, like they used to, is a thing of the past in rural Ireland because farm incomes have dropped to such an extent that most farmers are part-time and the possibility of neighbours helping each other is gone.

“It used to be the norm that neighbours would help each other out for cattle tests, dipping sheep or other labour intensive or dangerous tasks on the farm. Very often, it is the thing that you get away with a thousand times, especially when working with machinery, that goes wrong once with tragic results.

“Having proper protective guards on machinery is essential, particularly around PTO shafts and hydraulic pipes and above all, being aware of your own safety and taking all precautions. Working alone with machinery is always a risk.” 

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