Dangerous Livestock Accident Claim *
Dangerous livestock accidents * can occur to both agricultural workers and members of the public. All livestock owners have a duty of care to put measures in place which ensures that they are appropriately controlled and supervised when near the public. It is important to note that while a lot of animals are domestic creatures, individuals should never rely on their good nature to always shine through. Animals can become suddenly viscous when feeling threatened or anxious.
For those who work with livestock daily, employers have a duty of care to ensure safe working environment where possible. When accidents occur, at times it may be a direct result of employer negligence and in this case the employee may be eligible to pursue a legal remedy.
- Fractured or broken bones
- Damaged vertebrae
- Back Injury
- Crushed arm or hand
- Crush injuries
- Kick injuries
These injuries can be a result of any livestock animal such as bulls, cows, rams and horses. It has been known for bulls and cows to be capable of charging at bystanders and causing serious injury.
Livestock accidents in public places
A farmer’s main priority, when it comes to accident prevention, is making sure that the public are adequately protected from their livestock. This is usually carried out by the implementation of fences, gates and hedges. The livestock can often escape the field and enter the public roads, creating a road traffic accident *. In some cases, there may be public paths running through the field. In these circumstances the farmer should avoid putting bulls or mothers with their calves in these fields to reduce the risk of an accident. It is the responsibility of the farmer to constantly be informed of the volume of people using the field, so they are thoroughly prepared.
Livestock accidents on a farm
Teagasc Agriculture and Food Development Authority recommend that handling livestock needs to be one of the key elements of the farmer’s health and safety policy. Failure to correctly handle livestock results in injury to the farmer, vets and other workers. Prior to handling and animal it is advisable for a farmer to carry out a risk assessment. Within this risk assessment a few questions should be proposed:
- Is the correct equipment being used?
- Is there a quick exit in case of emergency?
- Did the farmer adequately train their workers and provide suitable personal protective equipment (PPE)?
- Does the job at task require more than one person?
What to do if you suffer a livestock injury
Find a refuge point
Although you will be in a state of shock it is crucially important that you remove yourself from the dangerous situation to a safe area. The recommended advice is that when the animal is moving about to stay still. In the situation when the animal is charging at you it is advisable to
- 1) hold something to keep the animal at a range,
- 2) head towards an area with trees or
- 3) find cover where the animal cannot enter.
Seek medical attention
Immediately after you have calmed down and are safe you should seek medical attention. Any necessary treatment should be administrated with your consent and all personal injuries should be documented for referral. Medical records will be obtained if the decision is made to take legal proceedings forward. The medical report will illustrate the extent of the injuries and pain suffered along with medical expenses incurred.
Report the incident
Once in a medically stable state the farmer or owner of the land should be notified. An investigation will then be carried out by the Health and Safety Authorities. Reporting the incident to the farmer will also ensure that the events won’t happen to another member of the public.
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