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Safety plea following increase in farming deaths

FARMERS here have been urged to prioritise health and safety in the midst of work pressures. 
Last year there were eight fatalities recorded in the agricultural sector, an increase of one on the previous year. The main cause of fatalities was deaths connected to incidents with animals, this accounted for 50 percent of all agricultural deaths here last year. 
Machinery was the second most common cause of fatality with two related deaths. One death resulted from a fall and another has been described as caused by “other”.
From tractor accidents to animal attacks, farming still kills and injures more people than any other industry in Ireland and the UK.
Councillor Sheamus Greene asked farmers to keep safety on the farm at the forefront of their minds at all times.
“This time of the year it can be particularly bad with cows, calves and bulls outside. I was at one farmer’s house where the bull was extremely agitated and in hot weather it seems sometimes that they can be even sharper.
“Farming is statistically one of the most dangerous professions, for deaths and injuries. People working on farms always have to be conscious of safety, especially at this time of year when children are off school. It is common at this time of year for contractors to be moving about while children are out playing and everyone has to be extra careful.”
Malcolm Downey, Principal Inspector HSENI said, “Farming and food production play a crucial role in the life and economy of Northern Ireland. But every year we have to reluctantly report that agriculture has the poorest safety record of any occupation here.
“All too often accidents happen on our farms which are preventable, so we want to continue to raise awareness for everyone working on, or visiting, a working farm.”
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The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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