In Ireland, farming is considered one of the most dangerous and demanding occupations. It is both physically and mentally taxing, with statistics from the CSO stating that that farmers continue to work the longest hours per week. Farming requires a lot of time and dedication and each year many farmers continue to work without taking a break. Not only does their family time suffer but also their health.

After coming from a hard spring, the next few months with be busy attempting to catch up on grassland management tasks. Traditionally, for summer months farmers spend a considerable amount of time herding and caring for their livestock. From ensuring adequate grass supply to walking through the animals looking for signs of illness, farmers put a great deal of effort into animal welfare. It is this attention to detail that is important for farm productivity and profitability. However, farmers can often forget one of the most important factors to good farming and that is looking after themselves.

Avoid Farm Accidents

Neglecting to care for themselves puts farmers at a higher risk of accidents. Senior Inspector with the Health and Safety Authority, Pat Griffin, stated that in any one year, there could be up to 4,500 serious farm accidents and within non-fatal accidents, the biggest issue is livestock.

The Risk of Burnout

Working long hours and struggling with work-life balance can lead to burnout, a state of mental, physical and emotional exhaustion. It often presents itself when there are factors in the workplace that cannot be controlled. Symptoms of burnout include feeling drained, not being able to cope, not being able to sleep or heightened feelings of sadness, being angry or irritable.

With all illnesses, prevention is better than cure. Here are some steps farmers can take to ensure they stay healthy and well:

Get enough sleep: Rest is important to revitalise the body and the mind.

Stay healthy: Maintaining a healthy diet is essential. Farmers must ensure they are eating enough, getting their vitamins and nutrients and drinking water.

Take a Break: Taking time off from the farm to unwind and spend time with their family should be a priority every year for the farmer.  This is where FRS Farm Relief can help.

FRS work with farmers throughout Ireland helping them to take the time out that they deserve. Experienced operators are sent out to the farm to take over while the farmer is away.  This enables farmers to take a break and with their minds at ease knowing their farm is being looked after.

Contact FRS

For more information on what services FRS Farm Relief has to offer, visit

To read about one of our operators: click here

For a list of photo numbers to seek support: click here

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