THE central health and safety theme to Harry Sinclair’s New Year’s message must be applauded – and acted upon.
The union president struck absolutely the right note in highlighting the scale of the carnage that continues to take place on our farms. But it’s not all a bad news story. The announcement made before Christmas confirming that the Farm Safety Partnership has joined forces with the Focus Farms’ Centre to deliver a proactive Farm Safe Awareness Programme, represents a very positive step forward in the battle to make our farms safer places in which to work and live.
The new initiative has been designed to attract 3,000 participating farmers and family members from across Northern Ireland. It will be delivered by 28 Focus Farmers and has been structured to allow them to host a specifically developed practical, farm safety demonstration and seminar – which will include a farm tour – designed to highlight all of the key safety issues that have a direct bearing on farm businesses here in Northern Ireland. Each event will be very practical in nature and will serve to primarily encourage farmers to ‘think’ and ‘act’ safe as they go about their day-to-day activities.
All of the Focus Farm hosts adhere to the highest health and safety standards within their own businesses and have been specifically trained to answer any related issues that arise during the visits.
Farming Life fully endorses the steps taken by the Farm Safety Partnership and the Focus Farms Centre. It is vitally important that at least one member of a farming family attends an upcoming visit. They have been designed to graphically highlight the consequences of a serious on-farm accident, both in terms of the problems caused for the business and the ensuing family trauma.
But more than that, they will serve to encourage farmers to take that extra 30 seconds to work through the safety implications associated with every farming-related activity.
For further information on how to register for a visit, please contact the Focus Farm Centre at 0845 026 7536.