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Dublin: 26°C Thursday 11 August 2022

One third of serious farm accidents involve children or adults aged over 65

14 people having lost their lives so far this year compared to 19 for all of last year.

Image: Shutterstock

NEW RESEARCH ON serious accidents on Irish farms has revealed that a third of the incidents involved children or people aged over 65 years.

The research is based on data from the Major Trauma Audit, which records patients who have sustained life threatening or life changing injuries, and covers the years 2014-2016. 

In total, 430 patients were recorded as having sustained major trauma as a result of an incident on a farm over the three-year period. 

An analysis of the data found that 6% accidents involved children and 27% accidents occurred in people aged 65 years and older. 

In terms of how children sustained the serious injuries, 33% were the result of a ‘blow’, 26% were due to a vehicle and 19% as a result of a fall less than two metres.

The median age farmers sustaining major trauma is 54.5 years, older than in other industries. 

The research also found that falls of less than two meters caused a quarter of major trauma in those under 65 years of age, and such low falls make up almost one-third of patients over 65 years old.

The research was released to coincide with this year’s fame safety week, with the Irish Farmers Association saying the campaign aims to make unsafe practices “socially unacceptable”. 

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“Understanding the risks on and around a farm operation makes it easier to avoid dangers, and makes accidents less likely,” IFA President Tim Cullinan has said this morning.

However, all too often, farmers do not recognise the risks on their farms, which makes it difficult to manage the problem. Farmers have to be more careful, take their time and think about what could go wrong before they undertake any job a single death is a death too many.

There has also been a warning about an increase in farm deaths in 2020, with 14 people having lost their lives so far this year compared to 19 for all of last year. 

About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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