Working on farm creates daily risk, says UFU

Farm Safety Week managed by the Farm Safety Foundation (Yellow Wellies) begins today (17 July) and the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) is urging farmers to make time on the farm for their health and wellbeing, and to review farm safety measures.
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In Northern Ireland, farming accounted for three of the eight (38%) reported workplace fatalities in 2022/2023 according to the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI).

UFU deputy president William Irvine said: “The UFU is getting behind the annual Farm Safety Week to help encourage safe working on farm and improve farmers’ attitudes towards farm safety. As always, Yellow Wellies have planned informative and emotive content for this critical campaign covering life-changing injuries, long-term ill health and livestock. I urge members to take time this week to engage with the farm safety content, which has the potential to change your perspective and general day to day behaviour on the farm for the better.

“An action that farmers can take to support Farm Safety Week, is to review safety on your farm and work out what you can do to improve it. For example, signage regarding slurry pits, high powered equipment and livestock can make a huge difference and can help to keep you and farm workers safe all year round. Working on a farm creates risk every day and we need to be constantly aware and reminded of that to create a safer working environment and habits.

UFU deputy president William Irvine. Picture: UFUUFU deputy president William Irvine. Picture: UFU
UFU deputy president William Irvine. Picture: UFU

“All of us are guilty of thinking ‘it will never happen to me’. But, as Farm Safety Week has shown in the past, and will do again this year, a farm accident can happen to anyone in a spilt second, changing lives forever. The heartbreaking thing about most farm accidents is that they could have been prevented. So, I ask all farmers across Northern Ireland, to put their health and wellbeing before farming no matter what the weather forecast or how many jobs are on your to do list. By doing this, you are not only actively working to keep yourself save, but you are also protecting the farm business and most importantly your family from the devastating experience of losing a loved one.”