Agricultural production is one of the most important drivers in the Irish economy, which is the largest net exporter of beef products in the northern hemisphere. 

Farming employs over 170,000 Irish workers or, in other words, over 7% of our country’s total workforce.

With over 135,000 farms on the island farm accidents do happen and can cause untold damage and disruption to the lives of those involved. 

If you suffer an accident or injury on a farm that wasn’t your fault, you may be unsure as to whether you are entitled to any compensation or legal remedy. 

For expert advice and specialist knowledge on farm accident claims, feel free to contact Hughes & Associates from our Dublin offices today.

What is a Farm Accident Claim?

If you suffer an accident on a farm due to someone else’s negligence, you can file a farm accident claim in pursuit of compensation for your injuries, both physical and mental, and any expenses you incur as a result of the incident. 

Teagasc, the Agriculture and Food Development Authority for Ireland, report that over 4,500 farm accidents occur in this country every year. 

Farms are considered a high-risk work environment on account of the heavy machinery farm workers operate, and the volume of physical labour to which they are subjected. 

Farm accidents fall under the umbrella of personal injury claims, meaning a farm accident claim will be brought before the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) who will decide on an appropriate amount of compensation for the claimant. 

In order to mount a successful farm accident claim, you will have to prove two things:

  • Your employer owed you a duty of care.
  • That responsibility was breached and, as a result, you suffered an accident or injury.

Under Irish law, farm accidents, and all accidents at work, must be documented and reported regardless of how minor the event may seem. 

You can file your own claim to the PIAB if you so wish, but oftentimes workers who are unfamiliar with the application process seek the help of a farm accident claim solicitor to guide them through the process.

At Hughes & Associates, our team is experienced in structuring personal injury claims in order to give claimants the best chance of securing appropriate compensation.

Contact Hughes & Associates for help with your Farm Accident Claim

Common Farm Accident Claims

Given how varied farmwork can be, there is scope for all kinds of farm accidents and injuries that constitute employer negligence.
Some claims arise more regularly than others, but if your event is not accounted for in the list below, get in touch with our team for advice on whether you have grounds for a farm accident claim.

Dangerous or Substandard Machinery Claims

Farm workers are often required to operate heavy machinery that, if unfit for purpose, can be the cause of severe injuries. 

Be it tractors, ploughs, combine harvesters, balers, fertiliser spreaders and more, there is a huge amount of farm machinery that needs to be maintained and held to a certain standard.

Falling Objects Injury Claims

Where work is carried out at a height, for example with the use of cherry pickers, there is a danger of falling objects causing injury. 

Farm workers must be given proper training and the right protective gear to prepare for incidents of falling objects.

Ladder Accident and Injury Claims

Ladder accidents can cause injuries to the neck, back, spine and brain, and very often they are preventable. 

A ladder accident can occur because of overreaching, a ladder not being securely fastened to the ground or a farm worker not wearing the correct footwear when climbing up the rungs.

Slip, Trip and Fall Farm Accident Claims

Every workplace must protect employees from dangerous, slippery surfaces so as to avoid a slip, trip and fall accident. 

If there is a wet or uneven surface, the correct signage must be used so as to caution workers of the danger.

Personal Protective Equipment Claims

PPE usually constitutes gloves, boots, overalls and proper protection for a worker’s eyes and ears. 

It is crucial that farm workers be provided with the proper protective gear for their environment – they can be left vulnerable to more severe injuries if they are not covered.

Manual Handling Accident Claims

A lot of farmwork involves manual handling and the lifting of heavy objects, meaning employers need to prepare their workers for the strain those tasks may cause. 

Manual handling can lead to significant damage to workers’ backs, necks and shoulders if they are not properly trained on how to move heavy objects.

Vehicle Collisions and Crashes Claims

Many farms require workers to operate different kinds of vehicles, and any kind of collision can have a big impact. 

There is a danger of impact injuries and, especially with heavy vehicles like tractors, the potential for a crushing injury.

Common Farm Accident Injuries

Any compensation you receive for your farm accident claim will take into account the severity of the injuries you suffer. 

Some of the more common ailments we deal with around farm accident claims include:

With the manual handling and heavy physical labour carried out by a farm worker, it is common to see major strains around the back, neck and shoulder area. 

A farm worker should be trained properly in how to move and lift heavy objects, and a failure to prepare them for their role may constitute negligence.

A slipped or herniated disc can often occur as you twist or turn in order to lift a heavy object. 

Slipped discs can be hugely painful and may prevent a farm worker from being able to perform in their job for a significant period of time.

Arm and hand injuries are hugely common on farms because of the risk of betting trapped, crushed or cut by heavy objects and machinery. 

A severe crush injury can cause long term damage and can make working with your hands much more difficult.

Soft tissue injuries concern damage to tendons, muscles and ligaments, and they can cause workers significant, long-term damage. 

A soft tissue injury is categorised as being Grade 1, Grade 2 or Grade 3, with Grade 3 being the most severe.

Running machinery has the potential to cause hugely damaging cut and laceration accidents.

Farm workers should be wearing appropriate protective gear when handling dangerous machinery to avoid significant injury.

Contact Hughes & Associates for help with your Farm Accident Claim

Employer’s Duty of Care

Employers in Ireland are legally bound by the Safety, Health and Welfare Act 2005, which ensures workers are reasonably protected from injuries and illness.

The act states that it is an employer’s duty to:

  • Maintain safe and appropriate machinery, equipment and workplaces.
  • Protect against risky, improper behaviour in the workplace.
  • Provide appropriate instruction and training to employees.
  • Provide proper protective gear and equipment.

If your employer fails to live up to these standards, and you end up suffering a farm injury as a result, you may have grounds for a farm accident claim.

Farm Accident Compensation

Compensation for farm accidents is influenced by factors like your age, your health and the severity of your injury. 

Farm accident compensation is divided into two forms.

General Damages

General damages cover the non-financial impact of your accident, i.e. the physical and mental pain and suffering associated with the event. 

Special Damages

Special damages cover the expenses you incur as a result of your farm accident, such as medical bills and a loss of earnings due to an enforced absence from work.

Who Pays for Farm Accident Compensation?

If the PIAB decide that your employer’s negligence was the reason for your accident, your employer will be ordered to compensate you accordingly. 

If there is a dispute over the PIAB’s ruling, the case can be settled in court.

Can I Lose My Job for a Farm Accident Claim?

Under Irish law, it is illegal to fire or reprimand an employee for filing a justifiable employer negligence claim. 

If you suffer a farm accident that is not your fault, you cannot be punished for seeking compensation.

How Long Do I Have to Make a Farm Accident Claim?

In Ireland, the statute of limitations for making a personal injury claim is two years, meaning that is how long you have to file an application to the PIAB following your accident.

The two-year period begins on the “date of knowledge”, which is the day on which you become aware of your injuries. 

Parents or guardians can file claims on behalf of children below the age of eighteen, or a minor can wait until their eighteenth birthday to file a claim themselves, at which point their two-year period will begin.

Make a Farm Accident Claim Today

If you have suffered a farm accident that was not your fault, get in touch with Hughes & Associates today for advice on pursuing compensation for your injuries. 

Our team are on hand to offer guidance and experience in all cases of personal injury and employer negligence.

Contact the Hughes & Associates Team