The Health and Safety Authority has said it will attempt to identify the vehicles and locations shown in a series of posts on social media platform TikTok that show people engaging in dangerous behaviour using agricultural machinery.

Following the publication of the videos An Garda Síochána has said "any reckless behaviour which puts the lives of operators, passengers or any road users at risk, will be investigated fully".

The videos show people standing on top of machinery that is in use, one man driving without using his hands, another driving machinery up a steep incline and a range of other behaviour that the Health and Safety Authority has described as "shocking".

An Garda Síochána has said its policing enforcement extends across all public roads and vehicle types, including agricultural vehicles.

The Health and Safety Authority has also said it is to investigate events in many of the videos. The HSA has said it has powers to fine employers for such behaviour.

HSA Inspector Pat Griffin said that "reckless" behaviour was putting lives at risks.

He appealed to those engaging in such activity to stop and said the HSA would not be found wanting in using its powers to deal with many of the issues which have arisen.

TikTok itself has said it is investigating the posts, saying the safety of its users is its top priority and it will not allow content that "encourages or replicates dangerous challenges that might lead to injury".

In a statement, HSA Assistant Chief Executive Mark Cullen said: "The antics of the farm workers in these videos is shocking.

"Not only is there a complete lack of even the most basic safety precautions, there is a complete lack of common sense and total disregard for their own safety and the safety of those around them."

He added that it was "pure luck" that people had not been seriously injured or killed. 

"Farmers and contractors must take a zero tolerance approach with this type of behavior and make it clear to farm workers that under no circumstances is it acceptable.

"The workers themselves need to seriously reflect on their actions and consider the consequences for themselves and their families if a serious incident occurred.  

"The Health and Safety Authority will not hesitate to take robust action where we can identify the individuals and the employers concerned."

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Meanwhile, one of the main organisations representing agricultural contractors has urged employers to sack workers found to be posting videos to social media platforms displaying dangerous behaviour.

The Association of Farm & Forestry Contractors in Ireland said in a statement: "drivers who behave in this way should be sacked from the contractor's team with immediate effect" .

The organisation said it has messaged over 1,200 contractors  to encourage them to take strong action in dealing with the problem.

The Minister for Agriculture has rowed into the debate on Twitter.

Michael Creed said the videos show "alarmingly immature behaviour". Mr Creed said the videos showed "boys tasked with adult work clearly incapable of responsibility".

The Irish Farmers' Association has branded the social media posts as "grossly irresponsible".

The organisation highlighted a series of postings that it said are accidents "waiting to happen".

IFA President Tim Cullinan said that people uploading what he called "pranks" show no regard for the danger involved.

The IFA has collated a series of postings from the video sharing network TikTok.

One shows a young man riding a quad up a steep embankment before it slides back down, almost overturning. Another shows a young man sitting on the front of tractor as it cuts silage.

Other videos show tractors overtaking each other at speed, and one records two men sitting in the bucket of a digger as it is swung around in a circle at speed, some distance off the ground.

Mr Cullinan said with eight farm fatalities so far this year, farmers and contractors need to make clear to their workers that engaging in such practices are a sackable offence.

He said he is disgusted that people could be so casual and have no regard for the dangers of what they are doing.