Powerful new farm safety TV advert launched

Date published: 11 March 2015

A new hard-hitting TV advert to promote safety around farm vehicle visibility was unveiled today by the Farm Safety Partnership.

As part of the ongoing ‘Stop and Think SAFE’ campaign, the new advert underlines the need to always stop and think before doing any work.

The ad features the possible aftermath of the accidental death of a young boy on a farm, while reinforcing the message that such accidents can be avoided by putting in place simple safety measures.

Speaking about the campaign, Health and Safety Minister Arlene Foster said:“This is a powerful advertisement with a hard-hitting message that challenges us on an emotional level. However, we can’t shy away from the realities of the total devastation that can befall a family after a fatal farm accident – particularly one involving a child.

“While awareness about safety is high across the industry, farmers must step up and take responsibility for making sure they follow safe working practices at all times.”

Welcoming the launch of the new advert, Minister for the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) Michelle O’Neill said: “Farmers have told us that they need to hear powerful safety messages and there is no doubt that this ad delivers.

“Anyone who cuts corners around safety needs to understand that they are risking tragic consequences that will leave a trail of heartbreak for themselves and their families.”

Speaking at the launch at Streamvale Open Farm, Dundonald, HSENI Chairman George Lucas said: “As the advert shows, heavy machinery is part of modern farming and farmers need to maintain their vehicles properly. This includes taking the simple step of ensuring that vehicle mirrors are clean and undamaged so that visibility is not impaired.”

Ulster Farmers Union President Ian Marshall said : “As a farmer, I understand that we can’t underplay the realities of farming when it comes to safety. For many, farms are also family homes and this new advert underlines the need for all of us to play our part so that avoidable accidents like the one portrayed can be avoided.”

Sadly, despite progress made by the Partnership in recent years, in 2014 seven people still died on Northern Ireland's farms, taking the total number of deaths since 2000 to 98.

The ‘STOP and Think SAFE’ campaign will continue to focus on the four main causes of fatalities on local farms - Slurry, Animals, Falls (from height) and Equipment (SAFE).

For more information on farming health and safety issues in Northern Ireland please contact the HSENI helpline on 0800 0320 121 visit the Farm safety section of the website.

HSENI’s equipment safety checklist


  • keep all windows clean and make sure you check all round before carrying out any manoeuvre
  • make sure that all mirrors and cameras (if fitted) are clean and fully functional on tractors and telescopic handlers
  • keep all guards in place on tractors and equipment, especially PTO guards
  • make sure equipment is stopped fully before clearing blockages
  • operate tractors with enclosed safety cabs or roll bars
  • take care when mounting or dismounting tractors or telescopic handlers
  • keep the brakes on all your machines properly maintained, especially the parking brakes
  • only start your tractor from the driver’s seat
  • make sure that your tractor’s starter system works properly
  • when pulling heavy machinery equipped with hydraulic brakes, make sure the brakes are connected to the tractor and work properly


  • attempt to repair machinery if you do not have the correct tools and equipment and are not competent to do so
  • run a tractor down a slope to start it
  • work near overhead power lines when tipping trailers or using high reaching machinery
  • check hydraulic pipes for leaks by running your finger or hand along them while they are connected and under pressure


Notes to editors: 

  1. This is the second TV advertisement to be produced under the umbrella of the S.A.F.E campaign. The first TV advert launched in March 2013 and was well received by the farming community, with research highlighting that the TV ad and supporting multi-media activity has been very successful, both in terms of awareness but also in terms of encouraging farmers to reassess their farm safety behaviours. The campaign also won the IPA’s prestigious Best of Health Awards in July 2014. The awards, which have been running for seven years, celebrate the best creativity in global healthcare advertising, and attracted 404 entries from across the globe. The ‘Stop and Think SAFE’ campaign won awards in two categories, Mixed Media and Film.
  2. Since the year 2000 there have been 98 farming deaths in Northern Ireland relating to the following causes:

    Slurry – 11 
    Animals – 24 
    Falls (from height) – 18 
    Equipment – 38 
    Other - 7

  3. Since 2000 there have been 14 fatalities related to poor visibility on machinery – four of which were children.
  4. The Partnership comprises the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI), the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD), 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 Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) is an Executive Non-Departmental Public Body, sponsored by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment. 
  6. 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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