The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) has confirmed that it is investigating the death of a 77 year-old farmer who died in a farm accident in Derrylin, Co. Fermanagh.

In a statement HSENI said:

HSENI is aware of an incident in Derrylin on December 23, and is making enquiries.”

'A freak accident'

The farmer, who was named as Norman Foster, died in a freak bale accident on December 23.

He was laid to rest on December 27.

In a post on Facebook, his son Steven Foster paid tribute to his father.

He said:

"My father left us yesterday evening very unexpectedly. He was a very fit 77, out and about on the farm enjoying being his active self, when a freak accident happened. We’re all in shock."

Working with bales

The UK Health and Safety Executive has given advice to farmers on the dangers of with bales and that care must always be taken when working with bales

  • Fatal and serious accidents can arise from work activities associated with bales
  • including:
  • Falling from bale stacks;
  • Falling from vehicles and machinery used to transport or stack bales;
  • Being struck by falling bales;
  • Electrocution from contact with overhead electricity power lines (OHPLs);
  • Trips and falls from loose bale string;
  • Contact with bale handling machinery such as elevators;
  • Fires.

Health problems associated with handling and stacking bales can be caused by:

  • Lifting and carrying (manual handling related injuries, eg bad backs, pulled
    muscles and strains);
  • Exposure to dust (eg respiratory diseases and infections).