The Health and Safety Executive in Northern Ireland latest Annual Report confirmed that the number of farm deaths has reduced dramatically down to four during 2013/2014 compared to 11 in the previous year.
However, the Ulster Farmers Union says farm safety does continue to be the biggest challenge facing workplace health and safety in Northern Ireland.
President Ian Marshall said; “Since its formation in May 2012, the Farm Safety Partnership have been working tirelessly to give advice and guidance to farmers which has helped them take the effective steps to improving safety on farms. From HSENI’s latest Annual Report it is evident that farmers are beginning to recognise that accidents on farm are preventable but the fact that we have already witnessed four farm fatalities this year to date stresses that more work still needs to be done to keep farm safety at the forefront of everyone’s minds. We all need to make farm safety a priority if we are to put a stop to farm accidents. One farm death is one too many and while it is encouraging to see that the number of fatalities have reduced during 2013/2014 farmers must not become complacent.”
Ian concluded; “We have every confidence that the Farm Safety Partnership will continue to grow as we work together to drive up health and safety standards and significantly reduce work-related deaths and injuries on farms. The Farm Safety Action plan for the period April 2014 to March 2017 reflects both the current and on-going efforts being made by all partners of the Farm Safety Partnership and we hope that farm deaths and accidents will become a thing of the past.”