Local MLA Paul Frew has hosted an event emphasing the significance of farm safety and urging farmers to put safety first.
At the event in Stormont on Wednesday, Mr Frew, as chair of the Assembly Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development, said: “In the middle of winter - with its short days and cold, dark nights - it may be tempting for our farmers to cut corners when going about their day-to-day work. Today’s event is just a reminder that farm safety should be at the forefront in the minds of all workers in the farming community whilst on the job.
“Agricultural accidents are the main cause of workplace fatalities in Northern Ireland; this is just one of the disturbing facts that the Committee learned during a review into farm safety in late 2013.
“I would encourage more of our local farms to adhere to farm safety guidance and advice, which is very helpful and readily available from the Farm Safety Partnership,” he said.
The event, in partnership with the Northern Ireland Farm Safety Partnership, included farm safety demonstrations and an information session for the farming community.
Speaking afterwards, Chairman of the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) George Lucas said: “Everyone involved in the farming industry needs to play their part in helping to promote farm safety in Northern Ireland and I applaud theAssembly Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development for their continuing support.
“While we are mindful that farmers are aware of the dangers that come with their profession, they can take simple precautions to protect both themselves and their loved ones.
“There are many sensible and practical measures that cost little or nothing to implement, which when in place make farms safer places for farming families to live, work and play.
“HSENI and the Farm Safety Partnership will continue to work closely with the farming community. Throughout 2014, we will continue to highlight the four key dangers - Slurry, Animals, Falls and Equipment (SAFE),” he said.