Rural schools continue to play key role in promoting farm safety

Date published: 12 December 2022

The Health and Safety Executive Northern Ireland (HSENI) with the support of over 430 rural and special schools across Northern Ireland has launched its 2023 ‘Avoid Harm on the Farm’ child farm safety calendar which delivers monthly, potentially lifesaving, messages to children and their families.

HSENI invited rural Primary School pupils (foundation, Key Stage One and Key Stage Two) and pupils from Special Schools in Northern Ireland to enter the annual poster competition highlighting farm dangers.

Twelve winning drawings, each illustrating a common danger on the farm, will feature in the 2023 calendar. In addition to seeing their artwork in print, each of the winners receive a £50 gift card.  

Launching the calendar at Drumadonnell Primary School in Banbridge, HSENI Chief Executive Robert Kidd said: “Farming is one of the most dangerous occupations in Northern Ireland, with 62 work-related deaths in the ten years up to the end of last year. Tragically this includes three children under the age of 15.

“Our competition will see over 43,000 calendars featuring monthly safety messages illustrated in a colourful and engaging way. The calendars will be distributed exclusively to rural primary schools and special schools for children to take home. My hope is that these will be prominently displayed and serve as a daily reminder of the critical importance for attention to health and safety by everyone living and working on a farm.

“I am convinced that, with the vital help we receive from schools, engaging with children at an early age will help form their approach to farm safety now and in the future.”

The calendar was sponsored by: Farm Safety Partnership members and affiliates, Abbey Autoline, Livestock and Meat Commission, NFU Mutual, PowerNI, Ulster Farmers' Union, Northern Ireland Safety Group, DAERA and LANTRA.

For more information about child safety on farms visit:

Notes to editors: 

1. The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) is an Executive Non-Departmental Public Body, sponsored by the Department for the Economy.

2. The winning posters are available to view at the link below:

3. For media enquiries please contact: HSENI Press office on 028 9024 3249 or email Outside office hours please contact the Duty Press Officer on 028 9037 8110.

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