New initiative hopes to promote farm safety in schools

A new initiative which aims to promote farm safety in schools in Northern Ireland has been launched recently by Ulster Bank.

As part of the initiative, young people aged between seven and 16-years-old will be invited to submit ideas for a storyboard illustrating the potential dangers on a farm and how to stay safe.

Ulster Bank is set to run the initiative in conjunction with the Ulster Farmers Union (UFU), Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster (YFCU), Health and Safety Executive of Northern Ireland and the Farm Safety Partnership.

A winning entry will be chosen from these applications; which will then be made into a 30-second animated video that will be launched at this year’s Balmoral Show.

The competition will be judged by representatives from Ulster Bank, the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society, the Health and Safety Executive of Northern Ireland, the UFU and the YFCU.

The deadline for applications to the competition is set to close at 5pm on Friday, April 14.

In addition to having his or her idea produced as an animated video, the winner will also receive an iPad and a pass for the whole class to the Balmoral Show in 2017.

Similar passes will also be given to the five runner-ups, who will also have their entries displayed at the four-day event.

Young people interesting in taking part in the competition can download a storyboard template from the Balmoral Show website.

On this they should outline their farm safety stories; as well as explaining their ideas in 150 words or less.

‘Education is key to help prevent farm accidents’

Farming is one of Northern Ireland’s most important industries, but it is also an industry with risks, Ulster Bank Senior Agriculture Manager, Cormac McKervey, said.

We believe that education has a centrally important role to play in helping prevent farm accidents and fatalities.

“That’s why we are pleased to partner with the Health and Safety Executive of Northern Ireland, the Farm Safety Partnership and other organisations to create what we are confident will be a very useful resource,” he said.

This initiative will encourage schools to highlight the issue of farm safety, Bryan Monson of the Health and Safety Executive of Northern Ireland said.

“It is hugely important to us that children understand the dangers they may encounter when playing on a farm. We value the role schools can play to deliver this message.

“We know that the competition will produce a very useful teaching resource which we look forward to using when delivering our school talks,” he said.

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