HSENI backs call for farmers to put themselves first

Date published: 16 July 2019

The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) is supporting this year’s Farm Safety Week 15-19, July organised by leading farming charity Farm Safety Foundation.

The Foundation is encouraging the farming community to stop and think about how they are looking after their physical and mental wellbeing. Agriculture continues to have the poorest safety record of any occupation in the UK.

Add to this the issue of rural isolation and the unique stressors facing the industry and this can lead to mental ill health and depression in those living and working in the farming community. Thankfully farmers’ physical and mental wellbeing has been receiving increased attention in recent years thanks to Farm Safety Week, Mind Your Head, Are Ewe Okay and Fit2Farm campaigns but so much more can, and must be done.

Throughout Farm Safety Week, the Farm Safety Foundation, supported by the Farm Safety Partnerships, the Health & Safety Executive, Health & Safety Executive for Northern Ireland and the Health & Safety Authority, Ireland, will demonstrate how safety innovations and improved inspection and maintenance can build business resilience, highlighting organisations helping build personal resilience and introduce some incredible farmers that have been influenced by circumstances, stories or personal experiences to make a real change.

Malcolm Downey, Principal Inspector HSENI, said: “We are backing Farm Safety Week as, while it is important to raise awareness of the issue in the industry, what we really need now is action! UK farmers are renowned for the attention they give to their livestock, crops and machinery, but what we need to remind them is that looking after their own physical and mental wellbeing should always be the priority.”  

Stephanie Berkley from the Farm Safety Foundation said: “The Farm Safety Foundation is a small charity with BIG ambitions. Over the past six years, we have developed Farm Safety Week into something recognised by 68% of farmers in the UK but awareness is one thing –the time has come for action!  

“As a Foundation, we will continue to train the next generation. We will continue to conduct research into farm safety behaviours and attitudes and we will continue to create powerful and emotive campaigns and offer advice and guidance but the rest is in your hands... It’s your health, your safety, your choice!” 

For more information on ‘Farm Safety Week’ visit www.yellowwellies.org or follow @yellowwelliesUK on Twitter/Facebook.


Notes to editors: 

1. For more information on the Farm Safety Partnership please contact HSENI on 0800 0320 121 or visit the FSP webpage: https://www.hseni.gov.uk/articles/farm-safety-partnership 

2. Farm Safety Week 2019 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.

3. 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 reminds farmers that farm safety is a lifestyle not a slogan.

4. The Farm Safety Partnership comprises the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (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). It is tasked with assisting Northern Ireland’s farming community to work safely and tackle the problem of work-related fatalities and injuries on farms.

5. 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).

6. For media enquiries please contact HSENI Press Office on 028 9024 3249 or email media@hseni.gov.uk. For out of office hours please contact the Duty Press Officer on 028 9037 8110.

7. HSENI is the lead body responsible for the promotion and enforcement of health and safety at work standards in Northern Ireland.


Share this page