The Health and Safety Executive Northern Ireland (HSENI) has said it is being supported by over 430 rural and special schools across Northern Ireland for its farm safety initiative.

HSENI launched its 2023 ‘Avoid Harm on the Farm’ child farm safety calendar which will deliver monthly messages to children and their families regarding farm safety.

The health and safety executive invited rural primary school pupils (foundations, Key Stage One and Key Stage Two) and pupils from special schools in Northern Ireland to enter the annual poster competition highlighting farm dangers.

12 winning drawings, each illustrating a common danger on the farm, will feature in the 2023 calendar. In addition to seeing their artwork in print, each of the winners receive a £50 gift card.  

Launching the calendar at Drumadonnell Primary School in Banbridge, HSENI chief executive Robert Kidd said: “Farming is one of the most dangerous occupations in Northern Ireland, with 62 work-related deaths in the 10 years up to the end of last year. Tragically this includes three children under the age of 15.

“Our competition will see over 43,000 calendars featuring monthly safety messages illustrated in a colourful and engaging way.

“The calendars will be distributed exclusively to rural primary schools and special schools for children to take home.

“My hope is that these will be prominently displayed and serve as a daily reminder of the critical importance for attention to health and safety by everyone living and working on a farm.

“I am convinced that, with the vital help we receive from schools, engaging with children at an early age will help form their approach to farm safety now and in the future,” Kidd said.

The calendar was sponsored by: 

  • Farm Safety Partnership members and affiliates;
  • Abbey Autoline;
  • Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC);
  • NFU Mutual;
  • PowerNI;
  • Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU);
  • Northern Ireland Safety Group;
  • Department for Environment, Agriculture and Rural Affairs (DAERA);