Today marks the start of the fourth annual Farm Safety Week, an initiative launched in 2013 aiming to reduce the number of accidents which continue to 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 and Safety Executive (HSE), Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI), and the Health and Safety Authority, Ireland.
- Fourth annual Farm Safety Week runs from 4-8 July 2016, with themed help and advice shared online each day
- Joint initiative involving Farm Safety Foundation, Farm Safety Partnerships, the Health and Safety Executive, Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland and Health and Safety Authority, Ireland
- Northern Ireland’s Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, Michelle McIlveen MLA welcomes the joint initiative
- Monday’s theme – Falls – second highest cause of fatal accidents on UK farms
From quad bike accidents to animal attacks, farming kills and injures more people than any other industry in the UK and Ireland – Farm Safety Week (4-8 July) offers five days of themed practical advice and guidance for farmers, day three of which will see the announcement of the latest HSE annual workplace fatality statistics for Great Britain 2015/2016. Last year, 33 fatal injuries to agricultural workers were recorded – a rate of 9.12 deaths per 100,000 workers, which is significantly higher than any other industry sector – 6 times higher than construction (1.62 / 100,000) SOURCE: RIDDOR
Keith Morrison, the chief executive of HSENI and NI Farm Safety Partnership member said:
“These are not just statistics - behind each story is a grieving family, a community in shock, and a farm business which demands attention no matter what has happened.
“This year, Farm Safety Week is focusing on the power of the positive. We know that we need to engage with farmers of all ages to make farms safer places to work and live.
“On a farm, as with any business, the number one resource is the people. Deaths or injuries occurring on farms happen much more often than they should - these accidents are often preventable through adopting simple safety practices. We need to work together so that farm safety is acknowledged as important and change ensues, and we are encouraging everyone in the industry to become farm safety champions,” he concluded.
Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Michelle McIlveen MLA added her support to the week-long initiative saying: “I fully support Farm Safety Week 2016. This is a good opportunity to highlight the main hazards and risks which continue to impact on the daily lives of our farmers. I trust that this dedicated Farm Safety Week will leave a lasting positive impression on our farming industry, particularly in making farmers think about how a life changing accident also has an impact on those that surround them.”
“It is human nature to think ‘it won't happen to me,’ but unfortunately it can,” adds the Farm Safety Foundation’s Stephanie Berkeley.
“Taking preventative, proactive measures is one of the best things we can do for our farm and workers. Most preventative practices are common sense. Tragically, most accidents are caused by simple factors such as habit, haste, fatigue, and improperly maintained machinery. This week, we hope that by hearing from other farmers about their experiences, we can ask farmers to really think about ‘Who Would Fill Your Boots?’ if something were to happen to them at work, shed some light on the necessity of farm safety and highlight practical ways to make it happen on the farm.”
Notes to editors:
About Farm Safety Week
- Farm Safety Week 2016 is supported by the Farm Safety Foundation, Farm Safety Partnerships, the Health and Safety Executive, the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland and the Health and Safety Authority, Ireland.
- The Campaign aims to highlight the serious dangers posed by farms and offers themed practical advice and guidance for farmers. This year Farm Safety Week urged farmers to consider “Who Would Fill Your Boots?” if something were to happen to them, or to a family member. Farm Safety Week 2016 focuses on five themes over the five days: Falls, Machinery, Livestock, Transport, Children.
- Farm Safety Week started in 2013 and struck a chord with the farming community with the initiative being recognised by 60% of the farming community according to recent Voice of the Farmer research*. It has grown to include England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland; five nations with a single purpose; to reduce death and serious injuries in agriculture. *Voice of the Farmer interviewed a sample of 1200 farmers across the UK in April 2016, matched to UK profile of all farms by country and farm size.
- The Farm Safety Partnership, which comprises the HSENI, the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA), the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU), NFU Mutual (NFUM), the Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster (YFCU) and the Northern Ireland Agricultural Producers Association (NIAPA), is tasked with assisting Northern Ireland’s farming community to work safely and tackle the problem of work-related fatalities and injuries on farms. The partnership is chaired by George Lucas, chairman of HSENI.
- The Farm Safety Partnership’s ongoing ‘Stop and Think SAFE’ farm safety campaign focuses on the four main causes of death and injury on our farms – slurry, animals, falls and equipment (SAFE).
- The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) is an Executive Non-Departmental Public Body, sponsored by the Department for the Economy (DfE).
- HSENI is the lead body responsible for the promotion and enforcement of health and safety at work standards in Northern Ireland.
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