Stop and think to protect your farm family

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With six lives lost within the Northern Ireland farming community so far this year and a further 100 accidents per month on farms, CAFRE call upon farm families to ‘Stop and Think’ about farm safety.

Recent wet weather, time and financial pressures at this time of year could increase the risk of a near miss becoming an injury or worst case a fatality on a farm this autumn.

The causes of injuries and fatalities on farm have largely remained the same over the years. Too often accidents happening on the farm are avoidable.

The farming community must continue to raise awareness, make improvements and adopt safer practices.

Everyone involved in the farm business should be mindful of the risks and how to keep themselves and others safe. The farm family can include multiple generations and the impact of a farm accident should never be underestimated.

Farm Family Key Skills (FFKS) is a scheme being managed by CAFRE and is a key element of the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020. The health and safety theme of Farm Family Key Skills addresses the need for farmers, farm family members and farm employees to take a fresh look at health and safety on the farm. The short workshops raise awareness of the need for farm families to regularly walk around their farm looking for potential risks and making improvements and places a greater emphasis on learning from the near misses.

Lessons can be learnt from near misses if immediate action is taken and improvements made. The training also highlights the need to spread the message of farm safety to farm employees, visitors to the farm and more vulnerable members of the farm family such as children and older people.

The training covers the four main dangers associated with working on a farm, slurry, animals, falls and equipment. The workshop also gives an overview of the making it safer online risk assessment tool which is a requirement when applying to the DAERA Farm Business Improvement Scheme.

Delivered locally on farms across Northern Ireland the workshops are free to farmers, members of the farm family and employees.

The workshops use real life survivor stories to highlight the risks associated with farming and each workshop is sector specific covering pigs, poultry, horticulture and general livestock farming.

Over the next few weeks workshops will be held in Omagh, Hilltown, Eglinton and Ballynahinch.

For more information or to register for a workshop online, go to: www.cafre.ac.uk/industry-support/farm-family-key-skills/ or alternatively contact RDC on 028 8676 6980.