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Working with livestock - how to stay safe on the farm

Two farmers have been killed and two seriously injured as a result of livestock attacks recently.


Hannah   Park

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Hannah   Park
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Don't get complacent - 2 deaths and 2 injuries following recent livestock attacks

A man in his sixties was killed on a farm in Co. Galway, Ireland. This followed the death of a farmer in his seventies, killed by a cow on his farm in in Mullaghbawn, south Armagh – a death which had ‘shocked the local community’.

 

Armagh Sinn Féin Councillor Mickey Larkin told the BBC ‘any death on a farm is one too many’.


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Demonising livestock production 'unhelpful' in health debate Demonising livestock production 'unhelpful' in health debate

Being killed by livestock is the second highest cause of death in farming, according to the latest HSE annual workplace fatality statistics.

 

An ‘it won’t happen to me’ attitude is easy to adopt when working with animals day in, day out and things like habit, haste and fatigue can lead to an accident which can often be avoided, warns the Farm Safety Foundation.

 

It offers these tips: -

  • Take the time to understand/know the behaviours of livestock you are working with – consider the safety of animal handling practices inherited from watching others or experiences growing up on a farm.
  • Make sure livestock is handled by trained and agile workers.
  • Is your working area is safe with safety measures in place – make sure strong, well-maintained handling facilities suitable for the animals being managed are in place.
  • Have a planned escape route or safe place while working with animals.
  • Be especially cautious around all cows and heifers with with new-born calves.
  • Keep cattle calm when handling and never turn your back on a bull or cow straight after calving.

Source: Farm Safety Foundation

Want to know more?

 

The Farm Safety Foundation works closely with young people to highlight the consequences of having a life changing accident.

 

The #SeeItChangeIt campaign also launched at the recent NFU conference, where individuals pledged to change at least one thing to improve the safety and wellbeing on their farm, consider poor worker attitudes to safety and challenging poor practice.

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