An initiative which aims to reduce the numbers of accidents on farms has gotten under way. 

Farm Safety Week, which was started by the Irish Farmers' Association six years ago, also looks to bring about change to allow better safety procedures.

Farming continues to have one of the poorest safety records of any sector in Ireland. 

Last year, 24 people lost their lives in farm accidents and 11 people have lost their lives so far in 2018.

Reacting to these figures, IFA President Joe Healy said: "The statistics are stark but statistics don't tell the whole story.

"They don't tell you about the devastating impact a farm fatality has on families and communities. They don't tell you the impact a farm accident can have on the rest of your life, on your ability to run the farm.

"Understanding the risks on and around a farm operation makes it easier to avoid dangers, and makes accidents less likely.

"However, all too often farmers do not recognise the risks on their farms, which makes it difficult to manage the problem. Sometimes, all that is needed is a fresh pair of eyes to help identify risks and to enable change."

This year the campaign is taking a slightly different approach as it shifts its focus from agriculture's poor safety record and stories of things going wrong.

Instead, it will start talking about when things go right, sharing good practice and demonstrating what 'good' looks like.

The Chief Executive of the Health and Safety Authority has said that it was possible to make farming safer by making changes to the way a farm was operated.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Sharon McGuinness said the key dangers on farms were child safety, machinery and the fact that farmers often work alone.

She said: "There's obviously the area of child safety, there's the whole issue of machinery. In the fatalities we've had this year, the majority of those have been caused by machinery.

"Indeed farmers often and do work alone. So there's a multitude of factors there. But by planning and addressing the risks in advance before you do some of this work, it is possible to do farming safely."

Ms McGuinness said the majority of farm deaths this year were caused by machinery.

She said some farmers were at greater risk than others, adding that some farmers over the age of 60 and 70 may be more vulnerable to having accidents as they may not be as mobile as they used to be.