Farm accidents can happen at any time of the day or night so it is best to be prepared to react swiftly and properly at all times.
That was the key message from Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill as her department distributed around 28,000 key emergency contact leaflets to farm families across Northern Ireland.
The leaflet, which has been compiled by the Farm Safety Partnership, carries emergency contact details for a dozen agencies including PSNI, NI Fire and Rescue (NIFRS), Lifeline, DARD helpline, Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU), Farm Families Health Checks and the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI).
Minister O’Neill said: “We are working hard, through a multi-agency approach, to drive down the number of farm accidents.
“However, we must always be prepared to react swiftly and appropriately in the event of an accident. I firmly believe this leaflet will help farming families make the necessary preparations to deal with an emergency situation on the farm.
“My department is distributing this leaflet to around 28,000 households across the north and I would urge people to write down their own emergency contact details and display it prominently near their telephone. I cannot overstate how important it is to be prepared at all times.”
Ian Marshall, president of the UFU, said: “Farm emergencies are not something we can easily plan for but they do happen. One of the best ways to handle an emergency is to be prepared with an emergency phone list.
“I would encourage all farming families to take the time to fill out this new leaflet and keep it near the telephone.
“Being prepared in advance and knowing the appropriate person or agency to call, could help save lives.”
The leaflet will accompany a letter detailing changes to Cross-Compliance Verifiable Standards to all 2015 Basic Payment Scheme applicants.