Accident on Dairy Farm
A farmer, who experienced a horrific accident in the midst of calving season due to tiredness, has highlighted the importance of taking adequate rest and planning in advance where possible.
Albert Evans has been farming for north of three decades and currently runs a dairy enterprise, in partnership with his wife, Anne, in Co Wicklow, says he is “one of the lucky ones because I am here to tell the tale”.
In a video produced by the IFA (Irish Farmers’ Association), he tells us how the incident unfolded and the implications it had for his family and the farm enterprise.
“We were starting into calving season; it was about January 27th and 17 had calved,” he explains.
“I was up late, and I was tired, but we were not prepared well enough in advance for calving season. A couple of cows had calved that morning and we were trying to prepare pens for them.”
“I picked up the chainsaw without thinking to trim gates, and I was almost finished when I got down near the wall.”
“Then, I discovered that something was wrong here because bits of wellies were flying everywhere.”
“I did not actually feel it but when I looked down, I knew I had done a lot of damage.”
Preparation is key
He was hospitalised for a six-day period and underwent two operations.
His wife, Anne Jennings, said that as a family, they were impacted because “we had so much extra work to do”.
She said: “We had to find people in a hurry, but we coped and got help in. Neighbours were also very helpful.”
She believes that people need to speak out, like her husband, about “their minor accidents because if we get that culture going, we might actually think about farm safety”.
“We certainly learnt a serious lesson. Basically, preparation is key, so if you have a quiet time, use it to prepare in advance for calving season,” she concluded.
As part of Farm Safety Week, we also heard from 27-year-old Samantha Kinghorn, a Scottish para-athlete, a world-champion wheelchair racer, and a farm accident survivor.
Her life changed forever in December 2010, after an accident on her family farm, being crushed by snow and ice, led to her breaking her back.
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