IFA launches farm safety campaign

Farm families are being urged to take extra caution to prevent farm accidents which have led to 14 deaths so far this year.

The IFA has today launched its first National Farm Safety Day, and is calling on farmers to mark the occasion by checking their land and machinery is safe.

Farm deaths are up by 70% so far in 2014.

Brian Rohan set up the EMBRACE support group after his father died in an accident two years ago, and highlighted slurry tanks as a particular danger.

"Slurry is a major killer, because you don't actually smell the gas… it's a heavy gas it hangs around," he explained.

"There was a fella down in Cork a couple of months ago where was overcome by the fumes and fell in to the tank … and his brother, who I know, was in hospital with his wife and they ringing home to say they had a baby girl born, while the father was pulling his brother out."

The gases produced by the decomposition of organic matter in a slurry pit include carbon dioxide, methane, ammonia, hydrogen sulphide, all of which are poisonous to humans, but can also lead to suffocation as they displace normal air.

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