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O’Neill launches on-farm safety awareness sessions

Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill has launched a new series of on-farm safety awareness sessions.
Thursday, 21 February 2013

Aiming to reach 3,000 participants in its first year, FarmSafe Awareness, is designed to make people more aware of the risks that exist on farms.

Speaking today Minister O’Neill said: “These 2.5 hour awareness sessions are being delivered on Focus Farms across the north. They will make participants better informed and encourage them to change activities and work practices to establish a safer working environment for the farm family.

“We have an ambitious target of attracting 3,000 participants by the end of the year however we are confident given the importance of the farm safety message and collective input this is achievable.”

FarmSafe Awareness is one of many actions contained within the Farm Safety Partnership’s recently published Action Plan. The Farm Safety Partnership was established in May 2012 specifically to address the poor record of health and safety within the agriculture industry across the north, as exemplified by the unacceptable numbers of farmers losing their lives as a result of workplace accidents over recent years.

The Minister added: “The sessions, funded through my Department under the NI Rural Development Programme, will offer practical demonstrations covering the everyday hazards faced by farmers and farming families. Topics include: Working at Height; Slurry Risks; Handling Livestock; and Working with Machinery.”

Teresa Canavan on behalf of the Countryside Agri-Rural Partnership added: “Registrations can be accepted on a group or individual basis and sessions will run once a minimum of 10 people are registered for one FarmSafe Awareness course. A light lunch is provided and sessions can run during week days or on Saturdays as demands request.”

Visit the website for a list of the participating Focus Farms and contact 0845 026 7536 or 0845 026 7534 to register for one of the sessions.

Notes to editors:

  1. Countryside Agri Rural Partnership (CARP) is a consortium led by Countryside Services Ltd, working together with the Rural Development Council (RDC) and AI Services Ltd. The Partnership delivers measures under Axis 1 of the Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme including Focus Farms, Farm Family Options (Skills and Mentoring), Farm Modernisation, Benchmarking and Supply Chain Development measures.
  2. The Rural Development Council (RDC) is responsible for the delivery of the Farm Family Options (Skills) Measure under which this training is being delivered in conjunction with AI Services.
  3. The Farm Safety Partnership members include representatives from the Health and Safety Executive (an agency of the Department of Enterprise and Trade and Investment), Ulster Farmers’ Union, NFU Mutual, the Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster and the NI Agricultural Producers Association (NIAPA).
  4. For media enquiries please contact DARD Press Office 028 9052 4619 or email: DARD Press Office Out of office hours contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.