Document Type

Conference Object

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Agribusiness | Business Administration, Management, and Operations | Rural Sociology | Work, Economy and Organizations

Publication Details

This conference paper was presented at the Annual Macromarketing Conference, held at Leipzig, Germany, 10-13 July, 2018, proceedings available online:


While the Irish agricultural sector accounts for just 6% of the working population of Ireland, it consistently has the highest proportion of fatal incidents of any sector - generally ranging from between 35% and 45% of all workplace fatalities in any given year. This was again evident in 2014 where 55% (30 of the 56) of the fatal workplace incidents were in the agricultural sector. Agriculture has an ageing workforce with the average age of an Irish farmer now standing at fifty-seven and farmers are eight times more likely to be fatally injured in a farm accident than the general working population. Interviews were conducted with farmers and farm safety advisory bodies. The findings from this research show that a systems social marketing approach should be adopted to eliminate farm deaths and injuries and that interventions should be co-created with the farming community. A grass-roots mentoring system needs to be established to advise farmers on best practice. This needs to be modelled on 3 main pillars (individual farm visits, courses in safe farming, and group farm walks) delivered by and for farmers. Live testimonials from farmers who have been involved in farming accidents also need to be incorporated into all farm safety talks and demonstrations. These need to show farmers the physical, emotional and financial consequences of a farming accident. These farm accident victims should attend individual farm visits, courses in safe farming and group farm walks. Practical workshops need to be set up so farmers learn specific skills appropriate to their farming situation. Lecture-based teaching where farmers sit and listen about safe farming practices should be avoided as farmers like to learn by doing. The issue of farm safety needs to be addressed at a macro marketing level and needs to involve a broadening of the traditional 4Ps to include People, Policy and Partnership.