UFU backing for Farm Safety Week campaign

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This week saw Yellow Wellies with the support of the Farm Safety Foundation, Farm Safety Partnership, HSENI, Health and Safety Authority and the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) launching the third annual Farm Safety Week.

All organisations have come together to support one common cause – to cut the toll of accidents that is currently dubbing agriculture with the poorest record of any occupation in the UK and Ireland.

The UFU has voiced its support for the initiative which over the past five days has focused on five different topical areas of themed practical advice, providing the agricultural industry with an insight into farm safety and how simple steps can prevent an accident or death on farm.

“This was a week-long awareness raising campaign set out to educate the farming community on the common dangers faced on farms. The key message communicated each day was – don’t learn safety by accident, reinforcing the need for farmers to identify hazards and take practical steps to ensure their own safety and the safety of those around them,” said UFU president Ian Marshall.

Farm Safety week kicked off on Monday with its focus on falls from heights.

Sadly, in Northern Ireland there have been 102 confirmed farming deaths since the year 2000 to the end of June 2015, with 19 people dying from a falls from heights. 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.

Commenting on farm fatalities, UFU president Ian Marshall said: “Quite often accidents which occur on farms would have been preventable if practical, inexpensive steps had been followed. Farm Safety Week is a brilliant initiative which continues to highlight the main causes of accidents on farms.

“While growing numbers of farmers are beginning to recognise this, more work must be done to make farm safety a priority, putting an end to farm accidents and stopping the tragic loss of much loved family members,” he added.