Improving farm safety is of critical importance to the farming community today in Northern Ireland, and the Farm Safety Partnership (FSP) is working tirelessly to change the mind-set and behaviour of farmers and their families.
While much progress has been made since the establishment of the FSP in 2012, there remains much work to be done.
A 2015 survey of Northern Ireland farmers suggests that there could be as many as 100 incidents per month on farms which require some form of medical intervention, many of these needing hospital treatment. At this level, it is sadly unsurprising that some of the more serious incidents can result in life changing injury or death.
Keith Morrison, Chairman of the Farm Safety Partnership said: “Farming and food production play a crucial role in the life and economy of Northern Ireland. But unfortunately we have also seen farming in the headlines for the wrong reasons. All too often accidents happen on our farms which are preventable, so we want to continue to raise awareness for everyone working on, or visiting, a farm. Partners are committed to working together to drive forward improvements in farmers’ safety and health. We know that we need to continue to work with farmers of all ages to tackle the poor safety record and make farms safer places to work.
“But the partners know we can’t do this on our own. We simply can’t be everywhere at once. So we need farmers to take responsibility and make safety a priority every day. My message is that, ultimately, it is your health, your safety and your choice.”
The FSP launched a new 3-year Action Plan last September, with a number of practical actions designed to help change behaviours and ensure that farmers, their families and their employees are capable, motivated, and able to work safely. It is the firm belief of the FSP that by working together a sustainable reduction in injury rates and ill health in the farming industry is achievable.
For more information on Farm Safety Week visit www.yellowwellies.org (external link opens in a new window/tab) or follow @yellowwelliesUK on Twitter/Facebook using the hashtag #FarmSafetyWeek