Increased farm safety awareness must be a top priority for all farmers irrespective of enterprise, age or location, Ulster Bank says.

In line with supporting its customers and understanding their farm business needs, Ulster Bank says its staff meet both existing and perspective clients on their farms to better understand their business and discuss financial requirements.

While farm safety is not a component of the financial assessment, Ulster Bank staff can play a role in reminding farmers of the importance of farm safety and how the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) risk assessment should be applied, it says.

Farming remains the most dangerous occupation in Ireland and last year, farm related deaths accounted for over 54%, or half, of all work place deaths in Ireland.

Ulster Bank says that poor safety around farm machinery as well as risks taken with livestock, remain the main causes of death and injury on farms.

Health and safety research continues to highlight that safety is driven by behaviours and every farmer and visitor to the farm has an important role to play in safety promotion and awareness, it says.

Ulster Bank staff can play a valuable role in reminding farmers of the continuous need for health and safety awareness across all enterprises.

To date this year there has already been four farm-related deaths.