Farm accidents account for most of workplace related accidents each year.
Mairead McGuinness MEP and First Vice-President of the European Parliament has welcomed the Parliament's adoption of the Integrated Farm Statistics Regulation - a new requirement to record details of farm accidents and fatalities - claiming it is an important step in efforts to address these issues.
The MEP who pushed for the inclusion of these statistics and recently spearheaded a debate in the Parliament to address the issue said we must redouble our efforts to reduce deaths and injuries on farms.
“An essential step in garnering political and policy support for action is the recording of the vital statistics of fatalities and injuries on farms, and this element has been severely lacking up to now,” she said.
And she said the upcoming reform of the CAP must ensure that measures are taken to address farm safety.
“Accurate information on the causes of farm accidents and the extent of risk taking on farms is required at an EU level in order to implement policies to tackle this issue which has a very high social and economic cost,” she said.
Ms McGuinness' comments echo those of Pat Griffin Senior Inspector with the HSA (Health Safety Authority) who earlier this year spoke about how Europeans are 'being fed on the lives of 1,000 farmers every single year' - a very shocking statistic, according to the MEP.
Following yesterday's adoption by the European Parliament, in future recording safety measures on farms for machinery, animal housing and also information on farm accidents – type of accident, severity and demographic background of the person(s) involved must be collected in the statistic surveys of EU farming.
“This is an important initiative in ensuring that we have the necessary statistics to know what is happening on our farms and that hard rather than anecdotal evidence is available to justify and underpin important actions to protect and save lives,” she said. “Otherwise there may always be an excuse for prolonging action.”