The safety of children on farms was one of the key focuses at Teagasc’s national sheep open day over the course of last weekend.
The state agency conveyed to attendees that the safety of children and young people must be paramount on farms.
It urged farmers to consider the following precaution where children are present on a farm:
- Provide a safe and secure play area for children away from all work activities;
- Where children are not in a secure play area, a high level of adult supervision is needed;
- Children should not be allowed to access heights;
- Take action to keep children away from dangerous areas such as slurry tanks; all open water tanks, wells, and fence off slurry tanks;
- Give children clear instruction on farm safety issues. Children to be carried in the tractor cab seven or older) need to wear a seat belt.
Vehicle and machinery-related deaths
Organisers also explored preventing vehicle and machinery-related deaths at last weekend’s event.
Vehicle and machinery-related deaths account for 53% of all farm deaths (10-year average to 2020).
With vehicles, being struck (25%) is the most frequent cause of death followed by being crushed or trapped by the vehicle (24%), fall from vehicle (12%) and being pierced by vehicle part (2%), figures show.
With machinery, being crushed (23%) or struck (18%), or collapse (18%) are the most frequent causes of death followed by power drive entanglement (14%).
A Teagasc spokesperson said:
“The data shows that most fatal accidents occur due to being crushed or struck, so safety vigilance is especially needed when in proximity to moving vehicles/ machines.”
“Entanglement deaths and serious injuries are particularly gruesome and occur most frequently with machines used in a stationary position, such as a vacuum tanker or slurry agitator where contact can occur between the person and the PTO.”
“Quads (ATVs) are useful machines on farms for travel. However, they have a high risk of death and serious injury if misused. New regulations related to ATV use and wearing of a helmet will come into force in 2023,” the spokesperson concluded.
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