Two men were taken to hospital for treatment following an incident involving slurry gas on a farm in Co. Antrim in recent days.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and emergency services, including members of the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue (NIFRS), attended the scene in Larne on Sunday evening (April 21).

The men, one aged in his 30s and the other in his 60s, were brought to hospital from the farm.

“Police, along with emergency services colleagues, attended the scene of a slurry-related incident at a farm in the Old Glenarm Road area of Larne at around 5.30pm on Sunday, 21st April.

“Two men, one aged in his 30s and the other in his 60s, were taken to hospital for treatment. The Health and Safety Executive has been informed,” the PSNI said in a statement.


The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) confirmed that it was alerted to the “near miss” incident on the Antrim farm on Sunday.

“The farmers concerned were extremely fortunate and thankfully came away from the incident with their lives, others may not be so lucky,” the authority said.

The HSENI said that the “root causes” of the incident were that the day was warm, dry and calm with little wind to disperse the slurry gas and the farmers leaving livestock in the shed while agitating.

“If farmers follow the slurry code the risk should be negligible when mixing slurry.

“Some farmers would argue that it is impossible to mix on a windy day and it is impossible to put livestock out when they have nowhere to put them. This is not impossible.

“No-one wants to have an incident on their farm. If you leave livestock in the shed during slurry mixing you are potentially putting yourself and others at very serious risk of exposure

“You need to look after yourself, your family, your farm and your livelihood,” the authority added.

Slurry pipes

HSENI urged farmers to consider areas to put cattle in their yards while agitating it taking place, such as putting a number of gates in place to make temporary pens.

“This incident could very easily have been another tragic multiple death on our farms here, it is not acceptable and these incidents are preventable,” it said.

HSENI has reminded farmers to adhere the ‘Slurry Code’ which is as follows:

  • If possible, mix on a windy day;
  • Keep children away from the area at all times when working with slurry;
  • Take all animals out of the building before starting to mix slurry;
  • Open all doors and windows;
  • Use outside mixing points first;
  • If slats are removed, cover exposed areas of the tank beside the pump/mixer to stop anything falling in;
  • Start the pump/mixer and then stay out of the building for as long as possible – at least 30 minutes or longer depending on the size of the tank;
  • If you have to go into the building, make sure that another adult who knows what you are doing stays outside and can get help if needed;
  • If you have to re-enter to move the pump, or change the direction of the pump, leave the building as soon as this is done – do not go back in for as long as possible – at least another 30 minutes or longer depending on the size of the tank.