38% of the fatal accidents on farms over the last ten years involved persons 65 years of age or older, according to the Health and Safety Authority.
The majority of these fatal accidents were caused by tractors/machinery, livestock and falls from height.
In this video, Darragh McCullough talks to farmer Gerry Maguire about how changes in your health can affect your work on the farm.
Gerry said to Darragh that perhaps the older farmers are not as nimble and as flexible as younger farmers can be when he was asked why these statistics were so high.
“You are inclined to think that you are still eighteen” he added, “at eighteen, you can pass the cow out; at forty, you might keep up with her, but at our age, the best thing to do is let her off and just walk after her,” he said.
When Darragh asked Gerry about the dangers of going into “autopilot,” Gerry replied, “there’s always a danger that you will become so familiar with the system that is the time when you can slip up."
“It’s then that you can cause an accident to yourself or anybody else that’s there and you have to try and guard against that” replied Gerry.
Darragh continued on to ask Gerry if there is anything that could be done about preventing farm accidents and Gerry’s advice was simple;
- Have your ears and eyes tested,
- Ask your doctor about the side-effects of medication,
- Changes in mobility, balance and fatigue levels,
- Carry a mobile phone.
Video source: Health and Safety Authority \ YouTube