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Farm Safety for Older Farmers

21 July 2020
Type Media Article

Sadly in 2019 twelve farmers over 65 years lost their lives due to farm accidents. This represents 66% of the total number of fatalities. Getting older impacts on a person’s ability to undertake tasks in the same way as when they were younger. Farm safety specialists Francis Bligh and John Mc Namara have some relevant advice

Tractors, machinery, livestock or falls from height were the main causes of farm accidents in older farmers. Getting older can affect a person’s mobility, eyesight balance and reaction time. It is important that these changes are recognised and farmers take account of their changing abilities.

Some important safety tips

  • Assess dangers before carrying out hazardous work, particularly involving tractors, machinery, livestock or working at heights.
  • Properly maintained machinery will significantly reduce the risk.
  • Always ask the question before each job.
    • Can I carry out this job safely.
    • Do I need better facilities
    • Do I need to get help for specific jobs.
    • Do I need to change my farming system (less calving cows to more drystock cattle) to help reduce the physical demands associated with calving cows.
  • Use your phone to keep in touch. Always carry a mobile phone when farming and inform someone about where you are going and when you expect to be back.

For more information contact your local Teagasc office or visit the www.teagasc.ie or www.hsa.ie

Click here for videos and resources for older farmers