Industry condemns viral machinery videos

Industry condemns viral machinery videos
May 28, 2020

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Some TikTok videos from Ireland feature dangerous equipment operation

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

Ireland’s agriculture sector is speaking out after videos of stunts and pranks on farm equipment and heavy machinery have surfaced on a social media platform.

Users have posted multiple videos on TikTok that show individuals in dangerous positions around ag equipment.

One video shows a man sitting on the hood of a tractor while it is cutting silage. Another clip shows people driving tractors on a road and trying to pass each other. A third video shows a man standing on the hitch of a tractor as another person is operating it.

The group representing Ireland’s farmers condemned the behaviour.

“This practice is grossly irresponsible and is an accident waiting to happen,” Tim Cullinan, president of the Irish Farmers Association, said in a May 26 statement. “I am disgusted that people could be so casual and have no regard for the dangers involved in what they are doing.”

The videos even elicited a government response.

Ireland has lost eight people to farm fatalities in 2020.

These kinds of videos could lead to more, said Agriculture Minister Michael Creed.

“If this behaviour is repeated, undoubtedly people will die,” he said, the Irish Examiner reported. “I’ve been to too many farmyards, chuchyards and graveyards in the aftermath of farm accidents. People need to realize that they’re one stop away from that location with this kind of behaviour.”

On Twitter, Creed called the individuals featured in the videos “boys tasked with adult work clearly incapable of responsibility.”

TikTok itself is planning its own investigation.

The platform doesn’t allow users to upload video content “that encourages or replicates dangerous challenges that might lead to injury. Our safety team is investigating, and will take appropriate action in line with our community guidelines,” a spokesperson for the company said, the Irish Times reported.

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