News

O’Neill underlines importance of ‘FarmSafe’ awareness events

23rd October 2014

Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill has encouraged farming families to continue to attend the Department’s ‘FarmSafe’ awareness events.

Minister O’Neill met with farmers and their families at a FarmSafe awareness event at Kinturk Community Hall, near Coagh in County Tyrone where she underlined the importance of the events in raising awareness of the risks that exist when working on farms.

The ‘FarmSafe’ initiative, launched in February 2013, was developed by the industry through the Farm Safety Partnership and to date over 4,000 farm family members have attended the awareness events, exceeding its initial target of 3,000.  Topics covered at the awareness sessions include: Working at Height; Slurry Risks; Handling Livestock; and Working with Machinery.

Minister O’Neill said: “Farming is the north’s most hazardous industry and FarmSafe Awareness events are designed to raise awareness amongst farmers and their families of the risks that exist when working on farms.

Those in attendance tonight at Kinturk have demonstrated their commitment to making health and safety a number one priority on their farm and it is encouraging to note that to date over 4,000 farm family members have attended the awareness events thus far. I have set my officials a target of increasing that figure to 5,000 people by March 2015 as it is important to continue to raise awareness within the farming community.

“We will continue to promote and deliver FarmSafe events throughout the north ensuring that this important message reaches all farm households and with the continued support of industry and farm families I’m confident that we will exceed this target.
 “I would urge all farmers to be vigilant to the dangers on farm and to STOP and THINK SAFE before starting any job on their farm.”
Since the establishment of the Farm Safety Partnership in 2012 over 4,000 farm family members have attended FarmSafe Awareness sessions.  To complement this training Minister O’Neill, earlier this year, also launched a web based farm safety tool called FarmSafeNet. This was developed by the Farm Safety Partnership and uses a combination of videos, reading material and a quiz to highlight safety on farms.

If you are a farmer, member of a farm family or involved in a farming group and wish to attend a FarmSafe event please contact FarmSafe Awareness on 0845 026 7536 or Email: options@countrysiderural.co.uk  Further information is also available at www.farmsafenet.org