National Marts Farm Safety and Remembrance Week is taking place from October 28th to November 3th, this year.
Every year, a number of marts observe one minute of silence during sale days to remember farm accident victims.
It is a week, according to its organisers, to remember and reflect on those who has been lost in farm accidents. “It is a week to promote safety awareness and reignite farmers’ commitment to farm safety.”
The initiative is supported by ICOS, The Association of Livestock Marts, Farm Safety Partnership, Embrace FARM, the Health and Safety Authority and FBD Insurance.
207 people were killed in farming accidents between 2009 and 2018 and 15 people have already lost their lives this year, according to figures from the Health and Safety Authority.
51% of all fatal farm accidents involve tractors/vehicles (30%) and machinery (21%). Most of these were as a result of somebody being crushed or struck by a tractor or machinery.
The majority of accidents with tractors and machinery are caused by inexperienced operators, poor mechanical condition, excessive speed, lack of concentration, steep gradients and ungraded parts.
Tractors/ vehicles and machinery should be maintained in good conditions, adequately guarded and only operated in a safe manner by competent people.
Always ensure that:
- The tractor is maintained in good working condition;
- All controls are in good working order and clearly marked;
- Brakes are checked regularly and are always in sound working condition;
- All relevant guards are in place and that PTO and hydraulics are functioning correctly;
- Mirrors, lighters and wipers are in working order at all times;
- The tractor is always parked safely.