It is all too easy to cut corners when it comes to workplace health and safety. After all, human beings have a tendency to believe that things will never happen to them. The Department of Agriculture, Food & Marine have recently taken steps to highlight the importance of safety on farms due to an increasing number of incidents on Irish farms. The Minister for Agriculture, Food & Marine, Simon Coveney, TD, said:
“Farming continues to be the most dangerous occupation in Ireland, with an average of 20 fatalities per year over the past 4 years. Already in 2014 there has been a number of fatalities on our farms. Between 2000 and 2010, 27 children have died following a farm accident. The main causes of child fatalities are tractors/machinery and drowning. Last year alone, 4 children died as a result of a farm accident.”
Children at Risk
Indeed, it isn’t always adult workers who can be at risk whilst working on farms. Measures also have to be taken to protect any children that may be on site. The Health & Safety Authority (HAS) conduct work place safety inspections to ensure that standards are being met.
Simon Coveney added: “A farmyard can seem like a playground to a child’s eyes. However, children can’t be expected to anticipate the dangers of playing there. Therefore, parents need to see these dangers and set ground rules for children on farms. For example, carrying children as passengers in large machinery is taking a serious risk because tractors and machinery have been responsible for half of all farming fatalities in Ireland over the past 10 years.”
If you suspect that an employer has been negligent in their duty to health and safety standards, and that you have suffered an injury as a result of such standards, you may be entitled to compensation. It is worth consulting with a professional legal practice that will be able to give you all the relevant advice that you need.
Nothing to Fear from Health and Safety
In order to help prevent workplace accidents in agricultural businesses, the HSA is taking steps to address key farm safety management issues such as tractor and machinery safety. Speaking in relation to the HSA programme, the Minister said:
“Farmers have nothing to fear from HSA-led farm safety inspections. The benefits of working safely are immeasurable. In contrast, the cost of a serious farm accident, or worse a fatality, is a price too high for any farming family”.
Nobody wants to get injured in their workplaces. The nature of agricultural work is that there will be use of potentially dangerous machinery. It is important that everyone plays their part in ensuring that jobs are carried out as safely as possible. However if the worst does come to the worst, one can rest assured that there will be help and support at hand when you need it most. There is no need to be injured and suffer in silence, so seek out help to reduce stress levels if required.
About the Author – Sarah Makinson is a health and safety advice writer. She uses sources such as www.evolutionlegal.ie to keep her readers informed about their rights.