Today marks the start of the third annual Farm Safety Week, an initiative launched in 2013 aiming to cut the toll of accidents which give agriculture the poorest record of any occupation in the UK and Ireland.
This year’s Farm Safety Week is being supported by a greater number of organisations than ever including the Farm Safety Foundation, Farm Safety Partnerships, the Health & Safety Executive, Health & Safety Executive for Northern Ireland and the Health & Safety Authority, Ireland.
From falls and slurry to child safety – Farm Safety Week 2015 (6-10 July) offers five days of themed practical advice and guidance for farmers and coincides with the Livestock Event at Birmingham NEC.
According to Keith Morrison, HSENI Chief Executive and NI Farm Safety Partnership member: “While our farmers are among the best in the world, farming has one of the poorest records of any occupation in the UK and Ireland and while all farm accidents are shocking and dreadfully sad, the saddest thing is that they can often be prevented.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Michelle O’Neill MLA added her support to the week-long initiative saying: “I am delighted to support Farm Safety Week 2015. This is a fabulous opportunity to highlight the Stop and Think SAFE message to our farming industry and reinforce the need for farmers to take action to reduce the number of accidents on our farms.”
HSENI’s Keith Morrison added: “Working at height is a frequent danger on farms. A fall is one of the most common causes of death and serious injury, especially among older farmers who are less flexible. However farmers and farm workers of any age run the risk of injury or death from falls from height. It is vital that the farming community take the time to think about what they are doing and what might go wrong. Don’t learn safety by accident!”