Spotlight on safety at new series of on-farm workshops

UFU deputy president Victor Chestnutt, Farm Family Key Skills Scheme Manager Siobh�n Sheppard and CAFRE Director Martin McKendry.
UFU deputy president Victor Chestnutt, Farm Family Key Skills Scheme Manager Siobh�n Sheppard and CAFRE Director Martin McKendry.

A series of free on-farm workshops get underway today designed to make farmers stop and think safety.

With the closed period for slurry spreading over, farm safety must remain a top priority for farmers across Northern Ireland.

Over the years the causes of injuries and fatalities on farm have largely remained the same and all too often these accidents are avoidable.

These workshops target farmers, farm family members and farm workers to raise awareness, encouraging improvements and adoption of safer practices.

Victor Chestnutt, deputy president of the Ulster Farmers’ Union, recognised the importance of health and safety on the farm at the recent Arable Conference at CAFRE and encouraged farmers and the farm family members to attend the workshops.

“As with all farm safety advice, the best approach remains to stop and think SAFE, even with everyday tasks. Farm Family Key Skills workshops on Health and Safety training are vitally important to raise awareness within farming families. The UFU would encourage everyone to take the time to attend the free sessions that include looking at the dangers of slurry, working with animals, equipment and avoiding falls,” he said.

Each workshop offers a mix of real life stories, up to date information and a practical understanding of on farm risks, how to identify them and how to manage them.

Workshops also introduce farmers to the new construction requirements and raise awareness of the ‘Making it Safer’ tool, a key requirement for the new Farm Business Improvement Scheme (FBIS).

On-farm workshops are scheduled to take place on the following dates with each workshop commencing at 7pm: Thursday, February 8, Omagh; Tuesday, February 20, Eglinton; Thursday, February 22, Tandragee; Tuesday, February 27, Roslea, Fermanagh; Wednesday, March 7, Ballymena; Wednesday, March 14, Hilltown, Newry; Wednesday, March 21, Donemana.

After a successful Health & Safety workshop in Ballymena Livestock Market on Tuesday, January 23, Dungannon and Enniskillen Livestock Markets are also hoping to host these workshops in the near future so watch this space.

Registration in advance of each workshop is essential. For further information or to register for a workshop, go online to www.cafre.ac.uk/industry-support/farm-family-key-skills or alternatively contact Samantha or Joyce at RDC on 028 8676 6980.