A new hard-hitting TV advert to promote safety around farm vehicle visibility was unveiled today by the Farm Safety Partnership.
As part of the ongoing ‘Stop and Think SAFE’ campaign, the new advert underlines the need to always stop and think before doing any work.
The ad features the possible aftermath of the accidental death of a young boy on a farm, while reinforcing the message that such accidents can be avoided by putting in place simple safety measures.
Speaking about the campaign, Health and Safety Minister Arlene Foster said: “This is a powerful advertisement with a hard-hitting message that challenges us on an emotional level. However, we can’t shy away from the realities of the total devastation that can befall a family after a fatal farm accident – particularly one involving a child.
“While awareness about safety is high across the industry, farmers must step up and take responsibility for making sure they follow safe working practices at all times.”
Welcoming the launch of the new advert, Minister for the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) Michelle O’Neill said: “Farmers have told us that they need to hear powerful safety messages and there is no doubt that this ad delivers.
“Anyone who cuts corners around safety needs to understand that they are risking tragic consequences that will leave a trail of heartbreak for themselves and their families.”
Speaking at the launch at Streamvale Open Farm, Dundonald, HSENI Chairman George Lucas said: “As the advert shows, heavy machinery is part of modern farming and farmers need to maintain their vehicles properly. This includes taking the simple step of ensuring that vehicle mirrors are clean and undamaged so that visibility is not impaired.”
Ulster Farmers Union President Ian Marshall added: “As a farmer, I understand that we can’t underplay the realities of farming when it comes to safety. For many, farms are also family homes and this new advert underlines the need for all of us to play our part so that avoidable accidents like the one portrayed can be avoided.”
Sadly, despite progress made by the Partnership in recent years, in 2014 seven people still died on Northern Ireland’s farms, taking the total number of deaths since 2000 to 98.
This is a powerful advertisement with a hard-hitting message that challenges us on an emotional level.Arlene Foster, Health and Safety Minister
The ‘STOP and Think SAFE’ campaign will continue to focus on the four main causes of fatalities on local farms - Slurry, Animals, Falls (from height) and Equipment (SAFE).
For more information on farming health and safety issues in Northern Ireland please contact the HSENI helpline on 0800 0320 121 or visit: www.hseni.gov.uk/farmsafe