East Antrim Ulster Unionist MLA Roy Beggs has urged local farmers to sign up for the new farm safety workshops under the Farm Families Key Skills initiative.
Mr Beggs said “This training is delivered to farmers throughout Northern Ireland and is free for farmers, members of the farm family and employees to attend”.
“Major injuries on local farms are up 10% on 2014 figures, but the causes of injuries and deaths on farms have remained the same and these risks can be dealt with by raising awareness and adopting safe practises.”
These short workshops start in 2017 and cover among many other things the four main dangers associated with working on farms namely – slurry, animals, falls and equipment – known as (SAFE).
The local MLA said that “for further information or to register for a workshop please go online to http://www.cafre.ac.uk/industry-support/farm-family-key-skills/ .
“As someone who comes from a farming background and with my family still involved in farming, I am only too aware of the importance of farm safety. There was a drop in fatalities last year compared to the five-year average, but there has been a number of incidents reported in the last few weeks.
The death statistics make fearsome reading including 14% of fatalities caused by falling from heights, and with the current winter weather conditions, working alone around the farm can be a real danger.
With many young farmers now deciding not to follow a career in the farming industry for numerous reasons, who is there to fill the shoes of a farmer who dies, or is unfortunately critically injured due to a tragic accident?” Mr Beggs concluded.