HSENI are ‘Keeping Farming Families Safe’ at this year’s Balmoral Show

Date published: 11 May 2018

The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland are highlighting farm health and safety issues under the new strapline ‘Keeping Farming Families Safe’ at this year’s Balmoral Show.

As well as stressing the importance of farm safety, the HSENI will also host, along with its Farm Safety Partnership associates, a ‘Keeping Farming Families Safe Treasure Trail’ competition aimed at testing visitor’s knowledge on safety around the farmyard, and offering four iPads as prizes, one per day.

‘Child Farm Safety’ and Power Take Off (PTO) guard demonstrations will also feature heavily on the stand this year, with HSENI offering a wide range of advice for farmers and their families, to help educate them about the dangers lurking for children on a farmyard. Girlguiding Ulster will assist on the stand showcasing their commitment on promoting child farm safety.

PTOs are the power source for many machines attached to and powered by tractors – shafts can rotate at speeds up to 1000 rpm. To highlight the danger attached to working with PTO’s, there will be a series of demonstrations on the proper and safe maintenance of a PTO guard, and how to put a guard on a PTO. HSENI is very grateful to the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, IOSH for sponsoring the farm PTO demonstrations.

Speaking ahead of the show, HSENI Chief Executive and FSP Chairman Keith Morrison said: “Balmoral provides the perfect opportunity for farming families to take a quick breather and think about the future. HSENI, working with all our farm safety partners and affiliates, want to make sure that farm safety stays right up there as a priority issue for all farmers and their families, particularly at this very busy time of year.

“There is nothing more important than keeping yourself and your family safe and unfortunately many tragic accidents could have been avoided by planning ahead and taking simple, inexpensive actions to manage the dangers.

“Please help us make sure the headlines reflect the enormous value of our farming communities and their produce rather than the heart-breaking tragedies and life changing injuries occurring on our farms. Together we can prevent the heartache. Always STOP and think SAFE before starting any job”.

Also at the stand, qualified nurses from the Farm Families Health Checks Programme screening van will be offering free health checks, which take approximately 15 minutes, and cover:

  • blood pressure
  • weight and body mass index (BMI)
  • cholesterol
  • mental well-being
  • diabetic risk
  • cardiovascular risk

The health checks also look at your lifestyle and, where relevant, you will receive advice tailored for you about smoking, healthy eating, physical activity and alcohol consumption. You will also receive a copy of your results, and with your consent, a copy can be sent to your GP.

Rural Support will be providing information on its services which help to address a number of issues that can cause added pressure for farmers, including:

  • stress and anxiety associated with increasing levels of debt
  • farming paperwork
  • physical and mental health concerns
  • severe weather
  • changing family circumstances

The Balmoral Show runs from 16 to 19 May 2018 at Balmoral Park, situated at Maze, Long Kesh – off the M1, close to Lisburn. The HSENI/Farm Families Health Checks Programme/Rural Support will be at stand C60, close to Stockman’s Restaurant.

To find out more about the ‘Stop and Think SAFE’ campaign, or general farming health and safety issues in Northern Ireland, please contact the HSENI Helpline on: 0800 0320 121, visit us on www.hseni.gov.uk or follow us on Twitter @Hsenigov.

For more information about the Farm Families Health Checks Programme, please phone: 028 2563 5573 or email: doreen.bolton@northerntrust.hscni.net

For more information about Rural Support please contact the helpline on: 0845 606 7607 or visit www.ruralsupport.org.uk or follow us on Twitter @RuralSupport

Notes to editors: 

  1. 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).
  2. The Farm Safety Partnership, which comprises 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.
  3. FSP members and affiliates that are participating in the ‘Treasure Trail’ competition include; ABP Group; ASDA; Autoline insurance; College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE); Department of Agriculture, Environment and rural Affairs (DAERA); Girlguiding Ulster; HSENI; Power NI; Ulster Bank; Ulster Farmers Union (UFU); NFU Mutual and Young farmers clubs of Ulster (YFCU).
  4. The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) is an Executive Non-Departmental Public Body, sponsored by the Department for the Economy.
  5. HSENI is the lead body responsible for the promotion and enforcement of health and safety at work standards in Northern Ireland.
  6. For media enquiries please contact: HSENI Press Office on 028 9024 3249 or e-mail: media@hseni.gov.uk
  7. For out of office hours please contact Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699 715440 and your call will be returned.

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