FARM ACCIDENT COMPENSATION CLAIMS IRELAND
Unfortunately, farm accident compensation claims in Ireland have become more prominent in recent years.
Specialised farming solicitors based in Cork and Dublin, serving farmers, employers and farm workers nationwide.
As a farm owner or operator you have certain responsibilities to protect those on your farm. Preventing accidents occurring on your farm and being vigilant at all times is particularly important in such a busy environment. It is advised that you also have a safety statement in place to make clear your policies and procedures around safety on the farm. During the spring and summer months, the sun is shining, the kids are getting ready for the summer holidays, it’s time to start planning for silage cutting and the children in the vicinity will want to be outdoors. It is vitally important that your land and farming machinery is 100% safe.
Farm Accident Solicitors Cork and Dublin
As with any other employer in the state, as a farmer you must comply with your obligations under the Health and Safety legislation, this includes having a safety statement. Your safety statement should be written and presented clearly and should contain:
- The identification of any hazards on the farm, including but not limited to machinery and animals on the land.
- A risk assessment that addresses the possibility of hazards occurring.
- The identification of measures that can be implemented to reduce any risk on your farm.
Once your safety statement has been completed, a notification should be sent to all employees to make them aware of its contents and ensure it is freely available to view. It is possible that an inspector from the Health and Safety Authority may request to examine your safety statement, risk assessment or both. This inspector will also thoroughly inspect your health and safety measures and ensure that they have been put in place correctly and are effective.
Safe Place of Work: This should include all areas on your farm and essential safeguards should be put in place to avoid injury on your land (a good example of this is the fencing of a slurry pit).
Safe Place/Machinery: All machinery on the farm should be properly maintained and should have safeguards in place to ensure operation is risk-free (e.g. a PTO shaft should have a guard fitted to it).
Safe Employees: Every member of your team should be trained to a high level in all aspects of their job. This training can include manual handling and livestock handling.
Liability Insurance: It is vital that you also check the appropriateness of your liability insurance and upgrade it if necessary. This liability insurance will cover any claims for accidents that may occur on your farm.
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Always consult with a solicitor who has experience in the area of farming law.
The Farmer – The Landowner:
- As the landowner or farmer you have a responsibility to protect those who may visit your farm, this includes members of the public. Identification of the possible risks to these individuals should be clearly covered in your safety statement.
- Children may be at particular risk on your farm. It is vitally important to note that the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Children and Young Persons) Regulations of 1998 require farmers or farm employers to clearly identify any work that is suitable or unsuitable for children on the farm. Tractors on the farm should never be driven by children under the age of 14. Specific guidelines have been put in place by the Health and Safety Authority of Ireland to cover the driving of a tractor by children 14 years or older. These guidelines should be followed with exacting standards. To drive the tractor in a public place (off the farm land), children must be 16 or older.
- Get in touch with your insurer to discuss your liability insurance and ensure you have adequate cover in place. You should also discuss with your insurer your liability for those who may be visitors to your farm, i.e. members of the public or family members.
The Farmer – The Livestock Owner:
Some things you need to know:
1. Whilst it is imperative to ensure that all of your livestock are handled, herded and loaded carefully, there are also rules about the escape of animals that you need to be in compliance with. Under Irish legislation, if any damage is caused by your livestock upon escape from your land, you as the farmer can be held responsible. Adequate fencing and other proactive measures should be put in place to ensure this does not occur.
2. If you regularly bring your livestock across a public road, either for milking or grazing, you are required under Irish legislation to clear the road of any cow dung after crossing. Cow dung that is left in place and subsequently causes an accident can leave you liable for any costs and damages.
Farm Accident Compensation Claims Cork and Dublin
Under circumstances where an accident occurs and where the person involved has been injured and cannot perform their duties or work for more than three days in a row, this incident needs to be reported to the Health and Safety Authority. Where a member of the public has suffered a general injury and required medical treatment, this accident needs to be reported. You will also need to notify the Health and Safety Authority of any specific occurrences such as chemical spills, fires or explosions on site. Where a fatal accident has occurred this should be reported immediately to the Health and Safety Authority and the Gardaí. Under the Acts of 2005, you as a farm owner or operator have a duty of care to all employees to ensure your farm is a safe environment for all. Should you require further information about drafting a safety statement for your farm or want to learn more about the legal services we offer, please get in touch with a member of our expert farming team today.
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