Three people die in workplace incidents in one week

Gardaí and Health and Safety Authority appeal for farmers to take care

The Health and Safety Authority said it would begin “an intensive inspection campaign” with a particular focus on the safe use of tractors and machinery on farms. File photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

The Health and Safety Authority said it would begin “an intensive inspection campaign” with a particular focus on the safe use of tractors and machinery on farms. File photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

 

The funeral took place in Co Carlow on Thursday of John Doyle, who was one of three people to die in workplace incidents this week.

Mr Doyle had been delivering building materials to a construction site at Leighlinbridge around lunchtime on Monday, when the incident occurred.

Mr Doyle was unloading a lorry at the time and may have fallen from a height. Strong winds may also have been a contributory factor.

Emergency services from Carlow town were called to the scene where Mr Doyle was treated by paramedics before being removed to St Luke’s hospital in Kilkenny where he was later declared dead.

A Health and Safety Authority investigation is ongoing.

Mr Doyle who was in his 40s is survived by his wife Elizabeth and his two children. His funeral took place at 11am in St Brigid’s Church, Clonegal.

Meanwhile, gardaí and the Health and Safety Authority have not named the man killed in a second incident in the region last week. The pensioner aged in his 70s was killed when he was emptying a septic tank on a farm. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The man’s body was taken to University Hospital Waterford, where a postmortem was carried out.

A third man, aged in his 50s, passed away on Tuesday in the Mater hospital, following a incident which occurred last week on a farm in Rathdangan, Co Wicklow.

The incidents have sparked concern from the Health and Safety Authority which said it would begin “an intensive inspection campaign” on Tuesday, April 23rd, with a focus on the safe use of tractors and machinery on farms.

The authority released figures which showed that over the last 10 years, more than half (51 per cent) of all fatal farm injuries involved vehicles (30 per cent) and machinery (21 per cent).

Farm vehicles are generally defined as tractors, loaders or quad bikes. In recent years there has been a sharp increase in the number of fatalities involving farm vehicles, particularly quad bikes with four related deaths in 2017 alone.

According to Pat Griffin, senior inspector with the Health and Safety Authority: “We’re running this inspection campaign earlier this year to give farmers plenty of time to plan for the safe use of tractors and machinery ahead of the busy silage harvesting season. Our message is clear, advance preparation and formal training is the key to working safely with machinery on farms. Farmers must make sure they have the necessary skills and competence to do the job safely. The condition of the machinery is also vital and any required maintenance should be addressed without delay.”