Specialist heath and safety experts are calling for farmers in Northern to take the necessary steps to help protect those in the agricultural sector from being injured or even killed.
Between 2004 and 2013, 76 people have died as a result of work-related farming incidents in Northern Ireland, while since the start of 2014, in excess of 40 people have died whilst working in agriculture in Ireland. Between 2014-2015, in the UK as a whole, more than 70 farmers have died in such accidents.
To help the problem, the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) and particularly the Irish and Northern Irish Branches, are running a free farm and farmer safety event later in November this year. The event will cover keys topics including:
• Common causes of injuries/deaths in agriculture;
• Chainsaw usage;
• Effective tree felling;
• Tractor training;
• Chemical usage;
• Animal management;
• Farm building, construction and electricity; and
• Slurry management.
Commenting, Liam Howe, who is the Chair of IOSH Ireland, stated:
"The demonstrations highlight issues regularly faced by farm workers but it is not just farmers who are getting injured and killed. Their wives and children, as well as members of the general public, are also at risk.
"Agriculture currently has the highest number of accidents and deaths per year in Ireland. Education around improving farm and farmer safety is therefore a major priority.
"Through this event we want to support and build on the good work of the HSA, HSENI and other health services and organisations that are promoting initiatives to improve farm safety. We also recognise that IOSH, with nearly 2,000 members in Ireland, has a role to play in supporting farmers to work safely in an ever-changing and demanding profession.
"We thank Ballyhaise Agricultural College for their kind permission to utilise their facilities and expertise in order to stage this important event."
Also commenting, Richard McIvor, the Chair of IOSH Northern Ireland, stated:
"Farm safety is an issue with relevance in both Northern Ireland and Ireland. We hope the event and demonstrations will drive home simple and easy steps that all people involved in agriculture can take in order to make it a safer and healthier profession for all."
Adding her viewpoint, Áine English, of IOSH Ireland Branch's Rural Industries Section, stated: "I urge farmers, as well as anyone promoting safety and health in the agriculture sector, to attend these workshops.
"There will be a wide variety of demonstrations to watch and learn from. It is an opportunity to see highly trained specialists using safe working practises at first-hand, and to also discuss with them any challenges workers may be experiencing."
Anyone who works in farming or in agriculture more generally will be all too familiar with the risks involved. Not only is there the risk involved in working with living animals, but the tools and machinery employed also poses a potential hazard. At Lawford Kidd Personal Injury Lawyers, we have developed particular expertise in handling claims for compensation, arising from agricultural or farming accidents in Scotland. We make sure you receive 100% of the compensation. If you have been injured in a farming accident, call us now on 0808 301 8396. You can also make an online enquiry here.