News & Events

Farm Safety Week 2017 starts today

Farmers urged to find and address risks to make their farms safer places to work and live

  • The message for Farm Safety Week is: Farm Safety is a Lifestyle not a Slogan.
  • HSA annual workplace fatality statistics report a stubbornly high number of farming workplace deaths in 2016, despite a drop of over 20% in workplace fatal accidents across all sectors for the year.
  • During the week, farmers are encouraged to carry out risk assessments on their farms, to attend one of a number of Farm Safety awareness events, or to avail of discounts on safety equipment available from retailers nationwide.
  • Official Launch picture attached

Today marks the start of the fifth annual Farm Safety Week UK & Ireland, an initiative led by the IFA in Ireland, aiming to reduce the number of accidents on farms that continue to give farming the poorest safety record of any occupation in the country.

Farm Safety Week is supported by a number of agencies, including the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) and members of the Farm Safety Partnership.

Farmers will be encouraged to take some time during the week to assess the safety of routine tasks. The campaign will focus on a different risk each day, including machinery and transport, falls, livestock and slurry, and child safety on farms.

Farming continues to have one of the poorest safety records of any sector in Ireland, last year 21 people lost their lives in farm accidents and 14 people have lost their lives so far in 2017. There are real concerns that if the number of farm deaths continue at the rate they have so far this year, the number of deaths in 2017 could be as bad as 2014 when 30 people died on Irish farms.

Reacting to these figures, Joe Healy, IFA President said: “The statistics are stark but statistics don’t give the whole story – they don’t tell you about the devastating impact a farm fatality has on families and communities; they don’t tell you the impact a farm accident can have on the rest of your life, on your ability to run the farm.

“Farm Safety Week is about confronting farmers with the realities behind the statistics, making them realise that they could, in fact, be the next statistic unless they take safety measures and change their work practices.

“The message we want to get out there is simple - always think safety first. The evidence is overwhelming; if you make time to discuss health and safety before doing a task, the chances of incurring an injury go way down.

“It is so important when preparing to undertake work on the farm that you always consider what are the risks associated with this task, and then put in place controls to manage those risks. This simple step of managing risks could save your life or prevent a serious injury from taking place.”

Michael Creed, Minister for Agriculture said: “We must all take personal responsibility for safety on our farms. There have been far too many fatal accidents on farms in 2017. While there are many risks in farming, farming does not have to be a dangerous occupation. Behavioural change is what is required to prevent many accidents. It is a case of being aware of the dangers and taking the time to do what is necessary to minimise the risk.”

Pat Breen, Minister of State at the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation said there is still a clear and urgent need to change the whole culture in relation to farm safety. “With 14 farm deaths so far in 2017 I am calling on farmers, their families and their wider community, as well as farming organisations, to use their collective expertise and influence to spearhead the badly needed cultural and behavioural change at farm level in a combined effort to tackle this serious issue.”

The Minister also pointed to the findings of a recent ESRI report which identified the risks being taken by farmers throughout the country. The Minister noted that the ESRI study found that young farmers and dairy farmers are most likely to ignore the risks involved in the daily tasks they are carrying out on a farm and said this finding must be taken on board.

The Minister concluded by saying “I congratulate the IFA and all involved in Farm Safety Week and I commend the chosen themes for the week as ones that will resonate closely with the farming community itself”.

Martin O' Halloran, HSA Chief Executive said:

“Farming and food production play a crucial role in the life and economy of this country, but every year we in the HSA have to reluctantly report that agriculture has the poorest safety record of any occupation. Last year, the number of deaths on farms increased, with 21 reported in 2016 compared to 18 in 2015.

“All too often, accidents happen on our farms that are preventable, so we want to continue to raise awareness for everyone working on, or visiting, a working farm. The HSA is committed to working with our partners on initiatives like Farm Safety Week to inform their activities and drive forward improvements in safety performance. We know that we need to engage with farmers of all ages to help them tackle this poor safety record and make farms safer places to work.”

Stephanie Berkeley, Farm Safety Foundation, the charity behind Farm Safety Week UK & Ireland asks:

“Farming as an industry is absolutely vital to Ireland’s economy. On a farm, as with any business, the number one resource is the people so why is it that year on year we are seeing these hard working and dedicated workers suffering life changing and life ending accidents?”

“Many farmers think ‘farm safety last’ rather than ‘farm safety first’ but most accidents are avoidable. Simple factors such as habit, haste, fatigue, and improperly maintained machinery contribute to this perfect storm but this Farm Safety Week, we hope that by hearing the stories of other farmers who have had personal experience of farm accidents, we can get farmers of all ages to realise that this week, and every week, farm safety is a lifestyle, not a slogan.”

For more information on Farm Safety Week UK & Irelandvisit

or follow @IFAmedia on Twitter using the hashtag #FarmSafetyWeek


For more information or to arrange an interview please contact

Brigid Fitzgerald                       

01-426 0344

087 652 2527


About Farm Safety Week

Farm Safety Foundation, Farm Safety Partnerships, the Health & Safety Executive, Health & Safety Executive for Northern Ireland and Health & Safety Authority, Ireland have joined forces to drive the Farm Safety Week initiative.

Farm Safety Week started in the UK in 2013 and has grown to include England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland; five nations with a single purpose; to reduce death and serious injuries in agriculture.

About the Farm Safety Partnership in Ireland

The Farm Safety Partnership in Ireland has been in place since 2002, is chaired by a HSA Board member and reports directly to the Board of the Health and Safety Authority. The current memberships includes; Construction Industry Federation, Irish Farmers Association, IOSH Rural Industries Section, Farm Relief Services Training Ltd, Department of Agriculture, Food, and Marine, Veterinary Council of Ireland, Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers Association National Office, Health & Safety Authority, Veterinary Ireland, Teagasc, Professional Agricultural Contractors Association Ireland, Irish Rural Link, Agri Aware, Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association, Institute of Technology Carlow, Health Services Executive, FBD Farm Insurance, Coillte and Macra Na Feirme.

Themed help and advice will be placed online each day of Farm Safety Week

Monday, 24th July         Farm safety statistics

Tuesday, 25th July        Machinery & Transport

Wednesday, 26th July   Falls

Thursday, 27th July       Livestock & Slurry

Friday, 28th July            Children on Farms

Check and

A number of events will be held during Farm Safety Week

Tuesday, July 25 - Carnaross Mart, Kells Co. Meath – Machinery Safety Event Wednesday, July 26 – Kilcullen Mart, Co. Kildare – Working at Height Safety Event

Friday, July 27– Blackwater Open Farm, Enniscorthy, Wexford - Farm Safety for Kids

A number of retailers are offering discounts on safety equipment during Farm Safety Week  






Liffey Meats Stores

All Liffey Meats Stores in Kildare



Ted Johnson Limited

Monread Road, Naas

045 897285


Naas Farm Machinery

(George Delahunt)

Maudlins Ind. Estate, Naas

045 876710


Meath Farm Machinery


046 9543550


Gouldings Hardware

Kilcullen Road, Naas

045 876759



Newbridge Road, Naas

045 876711


Trim   Hire

Oaktree Business Park,

Dunderry Road, Trim

046 9481000


Bernard Clarke Machinery

Gardenrath Road, Kells

046 9241055



Navan Hire

Whistlemount, Kells Road, Navan

046 9022535


Glanbia Athboy

Kells Road, Athboy

046 9432552


Aurivo Homeland

All Aurivo Homeland Stores in Donegal



Cowan Tractors

Galdonagh, Donegal

074 9157436


Donegal Farm machinery

Bonagee, Letterkenny

074 9124221


Lennon Agriculture Supplies

Aughnagaddy, Ramelton

074 9151621


McGinty Tractors

Clar Road, Donegal Town

074 9723645


Donegal Tractors

Unit 2A, John Crossan Business Park, Bonagee, Letterkenny

074 9121500


Watson Hire

Lisnenan Industrial Park, Letterkenny

074 9167777


Gortlee Tool Hire

Gortlee, Letterkenny, Donegal

074 9126276


Inishowen Tractors

Malin Road, Carndonagh, Co Donegal

074 9374744


Ard Products

York Street, Dundalk

087 6681866


Deeside Country Store

Richardstown, Dunleer

041 6863524


PJ Callan

Kells Road, Ardee

041 6853555



Mullins Cross, Dunleer

042 9372294


O Sullivan Safety Centre

Trinity Street, Drogheda

041 9831155


Dromad Hire


042 9339500


Hoey Parts & Plant Sales

Williamstown, Castlebellingham

042 9372409


Cookstown Dairy Services


041 6856262


Flagstaff Farm & Hardware Supplies


048 60849994


All Kerry AgriBusiness Stores in Kerry

All Kerry AgriBusiness Stores in Kerry



Brownes Hardware


066 7141216


All Kerry AgriBusiness Stores in Clare

All Kerry AgriBusiness Stores in Clare



All Kerry AgriBusiness Stores in Cork

All Kerry AgriBusiness Stores in Cork



All Dairygold Stores in Cork

All Dairygold Stores in Cork



All Kerry AgriBusiness Stores in Limerick

All Kerry AgriBusiness Stores in Limerick



Agri and Auto Parts

Kilconnell, Ballinasloe Galway

087 2736850


Templetuohy Farm Machinery

Airglooney, Ballygaddy Road, Tuam, Co. Galway

093 42124


Quigley’s Garage

Ahascragh, Ballinasloe, Co. Galway

087 9353552


Arrawbawn Co-op

Mountbellew, Galway

09096 79480


Murphy’s Garage

Horsevalley, Headford, Co. Galway

093 35644


McHales Machinery

Athnery, Co. Galway

091 875559


Pat Rabbit Tractors

Athenry, Co, Galway

091 844300


Greenes Topline

Ahascragh, Balinasloe, Co Galway

090 9688609


Portumna Agri

Bridge Road, Portumna, Co. Galway

090 9759793


Templetuohy Farm Machinery

Barna, Templetuohy, Thurless

0504 45110


Templetuohy Farm Machinery

Powerstown, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary

052 6124977


Templetuohy Farm Machinery

New Inn Cross, Portlaoise, Co Laois

057 6826555


Templetuohy Farm Machinery

Old   Dublin Road, Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford

053 9236601


Templetuohy Farm Machinery

Ballycallan, Kilkenny

056 7769239