All too often farm accidents are avoidable, officials warn ahead of the launch of a new wave of farm safety workshops.

The workshops will target farmers, farm family members and farm workers to raise awareness – encouraging improvements and adoption of safer practices.

Hosted on-farm, the free workshops offer practical awareness covering the everyday hazards faced by the farming industry.

‘Stop and Think SAFE’

Speaking at the Northern Ireland Arable Conference, Victor Chestnutt, deputy president of the Ulster Farmers’ Union, encouraged farmers and the farm family members to attend the workshops.

He said: “As with all farm safety advice, the best approach remains to stop and think ‘SAFE’ – even with everyday tasks.

farm safety, stop and think, DAERA,

A poster for the ‘Stop & Think’ campaign

“Farm Family Key Skills workshops on health and safety training are vitally important to raise awareness within farming families.

“The UFU would encourage everyone to take the time to attend the free sessions that include looking at the dangers of slurry, working with animals, equipment and avoiding falls.”

The ‘Stop and Think SAFE’ farm safety campaign aims to tackle the four main causes of fatalities on Northern Ireland farms:

  • Slurry;
  • Animals;
  • Falls (from height);
  • Equipment.

Each workshop offers a mix of real-life stories, up-to-date information and a practical understanding of on-farm risks, how to identify them and how to manage them.

Workshops also introduce farmers to the new construction requirements and raise awareness of the ‘Making it Safer’ tool, a key requirement for the new Farm Business Improvement Scheme (FBIS).

Workshop Dates

On-farm workshops are scheduled to take place on the following dates at 7:00pm:

  • Thursday, February 8, Omagh;
  • Tuesday, February 20, Eglinton;
  • Thursday, February 22, Tandragee;
  • Tuesday, February 27, Roslea, Fermanagh;
  • Wednesday, March 7, Ballymena;
  • Wednesday, March 14, Hilltown, Newry;
  • Wednesday, March 21, Donemana.

After a successful health and safety workshop in Ballymena Livestock Market, Dungannon and Enniskillen Livestock Markets are also hoping to host these workshops in the near future.

How to Register

Registration in advance of each workshop is essential. Further information and registration can be found online or, alternatively, those interested can contact Samantha or Joyce at the Rural Development Council (RDC) on: 028-8676-6980.

Anyone who wishes to host a workshop in their community is also asked to get in touch with RDC.

Farm Family Key Skills (FFKS) is part of the Farm Business Improvement Scheme, which is funded under the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, and is part-funded by the European Union (EU).