Friday 9th of Feb - The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) will begin a fortnight-long intensive farm inspection campaign on Monday 12th of February. There are 400 inspections planned with the focus on safe working with livestock. After tractors and machinery, accidents involving livestock are the next most common cause of fatalities on Irish farms. In the period 2008 - 2017 approximately 13% of all fatal farm accidents were livestock related, with half of those involving cows and heifers. The calving period begins in February and the risk of serious injury can be high. Inspectors from the HSA will be focusing on the common risks encountered and livestock safety in general. Areas being assessed during the livestock safety campaign include; Is an adequate physical barrier established between the farmer and freshly calved cow when treating or handling calves? Is there an escape plan for animal birthing activity? Is there ongoing investment in animal handling facilities, for example, crush, head scoop and calving gate? Are facilities and procedures adequate for loading and unloading animals? With much of the calving happening during short days, or at night, farmers are encouraged to have plenty of well positioned lights around the farmyard as this will greatly improve visibility and safety. Good handling facilities and holding areas where cows can be monitored remotely are important. Calving units with calving gates will ensure safety and reduce stress on farmers and the animal.