The Farm Safety Partnership (FSP) meeting on 1 March was the last under current Chairman George Lucas.
Mr Lucas, whose term as HSENI Chairman comes to an end on 31 March, assisted the Enterprise and Agricultural Ministers in creating the Partnership in May 2012, during a period of two successive years of 12 fatalities on NI farms.
Mr Lucas has been a driving force behind the Partnership which is made up of the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI), Ulster Farmers Union, Young Farmers Clubs of Ulster, National Farmers Union Mutual , the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs and the Northern Ireland Agricultural Producers Association
Speaking about the progress made to date by the Partnership, Mr Lucas said: “The Farm Safety Partnership, made up of key industry influencers, and bringing their collective leadership, time, expertise and resources together, is proving an effective model to improve farm safety. Farm fatalities have reduced by around 50 percent over the last four years compared to 2011 and 2012.
“The engagement with farming families continues to be crucial. There is an increased awareness that all accidents are preventable and the farm SAFE message encourages people to stop and think before undertaking a task that could result in a fatal or life changing incident.
“I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the hard work and commitment of everyone involved.”
Mr Lucas will be succeeded as FSP Chairman by Keith Morrison, Chief Executive of HSENI.
Keith Morrison said: “I am proud to take on the role and very much welcome the opportunity to build on the progress made by the Partnership to date. Despite this progress we can never be complacent and seven farm families devastated by fatalities in the past year shows there is still much work to be done to turn awareness into changed behaviour.
“I have been part of FSP for the last four years and the passion and commitment of the partners is truly humbling and inspiring. I am deeply committed to making farm fatalities and serious injuries a thing of the past and believe that by working together we can do so”
Looking to the future, partners spent the bulk of the Partnership meeting debating the draft of a new three year farm safety action plan to be published in the coming months. This plan will look to build on the successes to date but, realising there is still much to be done, it will also introduce some new approaches and initiatives.
Notes to editors:
- For more information on the Farm Safety Partnership please contact HSENI on 0800 0320 121 or visit the FSP webpage:
- Mr George Lucas was managing director of the Corus Steel plc operations in Ireland, formerly Gamble Simms Steel Ltd from 1986 to 2006. During this time he was instrumental in developing and implementing key business strategies that not only brought strong growth and financial returns but also a significant reduction in accident rates.
- From 2006 to 2010, he worked as a strategy development consultant with Corus Steel plc (acquired by Tata Steel in 2006) across Great Britain and Ireland.
- Mr Lucas holds a MSc in management from Trinity College, Dublin and has completed the Programme for Executive Development at IMD, Switzerland.
- Farm fatality figures for the last 6 calendar years are:
- 2011 12 fatalities
- 2012 12 fatalities
- 2013 4 fatalities
- 2014 8 fatalities
- 2015 6 fatalities
- 2016 7 fatalities
- Pictured together are outgoing FSP Chairman George Lucas (left) with incoming Chairman Keith Morrison.