HSENI to feature equipment safety at Balmoral

8th May 2014

At this year’s Balmoral Show, the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) will be highlighting the safe maintenance and proper use of farm equipment, with the focus on the dangers around working with Quad bikes and chainsaws.

Under the banner of the ongoing Stop and Think SAFE campaign, HSENI staff will be available to offer one-to-one advice, on-site demonstrations and answer questions to help farmers take sensible and effective steps to work safely.

The main areas of risk when working with Quad bikes are the lack of training and experience of the operator, and the absence of appropriate head protection. Other areas of concern include excessive speed, the towing of excessive or unbalanced loads, and the poor maintenance of the vehicle.

Chainsaws are potentially dangerous and can cause fatal or major injuries if not used correctly. Anyone who uses a chainsaw at work should undergo training and be competent in using it for the type of work that they are going to do. They should also wear the proper protective clothing, such as chainsaw trousers and gloves, and the appropriate head protection.

As we enter into the busiest time of the year for farmers, and with the approach of the long summer school holidays, HSENI staff will also be on hand to offer information and advice about child safety on farms.

Speaking ahead of this year’s show, Malcolm Downey, who heads up the Farm Safety Team at HSENI, said:

“Modern farming equipment is a huge benefit to farmers - if used safely and correctly. However, despite warnings and advice, some farmers still take unnecessary risks by using machinery without due regard for their own safety and that of others.

“Farmers need to follow the instructions supplied with the equipment they are using and ensure that all guards are in position, are undamaged and are fully effective. They also need to regularly maintain, check and repair all machinery – and to make sure workers are properly trained and provided with, and use, the necessary protective clothing.

“HSENI, along with our colleagues in the Farm Safety Partnership, will continue to support farmers by providing the necessary information to help them put in place effective safety measures. However, everyone needs to play their part, so I’d urge all farmers to take on board the advice on offer and to take the next steps to making their farms safer places to work and live.”

The Farm Safety Partnership’s ongoing ‘Stop and Think SAFE’ farm safety campaign focuses on the four main causes of death and injury on our farms – slurry, animals, falls and equipment (SAFE).

To find out more about the ‘Stop and Think SAFE’ campaign, or general farming health and safety issues in Northern Ireland, please contact the HSENI helpline on 0800 0320 121 or visit:

This year’s Balmoral Show runs from 14 to 16 May 2014 at Balmoral Park, situated at Maze Long Kesh - off the M1, close to Lisburn. The HSENI stand is just off Balmoral Way, near the NI Food Pavilion.