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Warning over farm deaths as spring calving gets underway

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With spring calving now underway on many Irish farms, IFA Health and Safety Executive William Shortall has encouraged farmers to be extremely vigilant on their own safety.

An average, 9% of farm fatalities are caused by cow and heifer attacks each year, with farmers very vulnerable at this time of year.

This is compounded by the fact that cows and heifers can be unpredictable during this period and could hit out without warning.

According to IFA Health and Safety Executive William Shortall, this is a very dangerous time.

He said: “Spring is the busiest time of year for many Irish farms”.

“Farmers work around the clock. This can lead to severe tiredness, restricting a farmers time to react quickly”.

The IFA have developed some useful tips for farmers to keep them safe, including:

  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help from a neighbour with a difficult cow or calving
  • Know your limitations, you’re not as agile as you were this time last year
  • Make sure the calving gate is operating properly
  • Make sure the calving jack and ropes are fit for purpose
  • Make sure all dogs and children are out of sight before entering the pen
  • Make sure the cow is correctly locked into the calving gate
  • Ensure calving pens have appropriate lighting
  • Remember there is no such thing as a quite cow

So the key message from all of that really is to just be careful.

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