Farm safety resource for schools to be launched at Balmoral Show

Ulster Bank announces winner of competition in conjunction with HSENI
Ulster Bank announces winner of competition in conjunction with HSENI

An important new resource to promote farm safety in schools is set to be launched at the Balmoral Show, following a Northern Ireland-wide initiative by Ulster Bank and the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI).

A new video, which has been produced from the work of a 13-year-old from county Down, will help thousands of pupils learn about the important issue.

Ulster Bank, the principal sponsor of the show, invited post-primary pupils from across Northern Ireland to submit a creative storyboard for an animated film to be used in school talks on farm safety by HSENI.

Six finalists were selected from hundreds of entries by judges from HSENI, Ulster Bank, the RUAS and the Ulster Farmers Union, with the ideas of Troy Watson, from Downpatrick, chosen as the overall winner.

‘Stay out of harm down on the farm’, as the winning idea of the Down High pupil was titled, has now been produced into an impressive 30-second animation which will be officially unveiled at the Ulster Bank marquee at Balmoral Park on the first morning of the show.

Bryan Monson, HSENI Deputy Chief Executive, says that finding new and innovative ways to promote farm safety in schools is essential to ensure that the important messages gets through to young people.

“We are very pleased that Ulster Bank has developed this initiative to engage hundreds of young people in farm safety and to produce a resource that has the potential to play a positive role in educating many more. We congratulate Troy on his work and we look forward to putting the animation to good use in our school talks,” Bryan adds.

Ulster Bank’s Senior Agricultural Manager Cormac McKervey says, “Farming is one of Northern Ireland’s most important industries and can be highly rewarding. But it is also an industry with risks. Thankfully the number of fatal farming accidents is starting to fall, and we believe that education has a centrally important role to play in helping ensure that trend continues. That’s why we were pleased to partner with the HSENI, RUAS and other organisations to help create what we are confident will be a very useful resource. Congratulations to Troy and the other finalists for their excellent ideas and contributions.”

On top of having his winning idea professionally produced, Troy will also receive an iPad as a prize, while each of the six finalists has received a class pass to the Balmoral Show, including transport and lunch at the event, courtesy of Ulster Bank.

The five other finalists were:

Zoe Martin, Crossgar; Ruby Gallagher, Fermanagh; Fionnuala Murray, Killough; Kevin McCann, Loughgall; Laura O’Kane, Maghera, who’s entry was inspired by a real life farm accident.

Further information about the RUAS Balmoral Show is available at: