Major Conference In Ennis Hears Of Alarming Spike In Farm Fatalities

Photo © Pat Flynn

Clare farmers are being warned to urgently to put safety measures in place at work, in response to the alarming spike in farm fatalities this year.

The National Farm Health and Safety conference is taking place in Ennis, where measures to tackle the growing problem are being discussed.

It continues to be the most treacherous occupation in Ireland, with farmers 10 times more likely to die at work than any other sector.


2017 has been a deadly year on Irish farms so far, with 21 deaths across the country, two of those in Clare.

Already, this equals the total number of farm fatalities of last year, with concern that it may rise further if farmers don’t educate themselves on basic safety measures.

Machinery and livestock pose the biggest threats and, as senior inspector with the HSA Pat Griffin outlines, elderly farmers are particularly vulnerable.

The most prominent danger on farms as highlighted at today’s conference in Ennis is machinery, with being struck or crushed by a tractor now the leading cause of farm accidents nationwide.

Jim Dockery of FRS Training says the onus is on the farmer to be aware of the risks.

Meanwhile, livestock farmers are being urged not to be complacent when it comes to handling their animals.

Though bulls have been traditionally identified as the major risk, JJ Lenihan from Teagasc is warning that cows can be equally as dangerous.