There are additional risks just now with farmers and contractors busy working with animals, making silage and spreading fertiliser and slurry, authorities in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland have warned.

Earlier today, Wednesday, June 24, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed; Minister for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Edwin Poots; Minister for the Economy Diane Dodds; and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys came together to highlight the need for all farmers, and all of those involved in agriculture, to play their part and reduce the rate of farm incidents.

Many farms will have children at home from school so everyone needs to be extra vigilant, the ministers warned.

Following on from the good weather experienced during May, it is important that everyone is aware of the increased risk when it comes to working with slurry.

The good weather has the potential to cause greater level of gasses to be released from the slurry during agitation than what may usually be experienced.

In their joint appeal for awareness, the four ministers warned:

"We remind all farmers and contractors that just one lungful of slurry gas can kill. So take great care when working with slurry and always follow the published advice.

"Farming is a vital part of the structure and economy across the Island. Farmers continue to work hard and long hours on a daily basis to produce essential foodstuffs.

While farms are high-risk workplaces, farming does not have to be dangerous. Simple basic precautions can reduce the risks and prevent future accidents.

"This is particularly important at present during the Covid-19 restrictions as more people are at home and on the farm including young children and older members of families," the ministers concluded.