Northern Ireland

Safety message for NI's farmers after rise in deaths

Tractors
Image caption The HSENI will visit farms to deliver its safety message

The Health and Safety Executive for NI (HSENI) is launching an initiative to try and cut farm deaths.

A farmer was killed every month in 2011 while working on a farm in Northern Ireland.

In February and March, HSENI staff will visit farms and speak directly to farmers and their families about their safety.

The average age of farmers killed in accidents last year was 57.

The four main causes of farm deaths in Northern Ireland are unguarded machinery, handling livestock, falls when carrying out work at heights and incidents involving slurry tanks.

The HSENI is working with the Ulster Farmers' Union (UFU) and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) to develop a new Farm Safety Partnership.

Addressing farmers, Ken Logan, of the HSENI, said: "HSENI staff will be visiting your farm in order to discuss the dangers that you and your families face on a daily basis.

"Given that most Northern Ireland farms are worked by one or two people, this is a very personal message to you.

"Safety must be your number one priority as it is likely to be you or another family member who gets injured or killed.

"This help initiative will provide you with an opportunity to ask questions and seek advice from my colleagues."

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