Farming in Northern Ireland
Farming is a vital part of the Northern Ireland economy, providing employment to nearly 47,000 people across 24,500 farms. Unfortunately, the safety record of farming in Northern Ireland is poor and continues to represent a disproportionate number of deaths compared to other work sectors.
Since 1996 there have been 127 work related fatal incidents.
In the 5 year period between 2007 and 2011, the industry accounted for 50% of work related fatalities in Northern Ireland. The death toll is unrelenting, hitting 57% of all work related fatalities in the 3 years from 2009 to 2011 and in 2011 alone it accounted for 60%. An underlying concern is the preponderance of deaths among older farmers, in particular those aged 65 and over.
Farm Safety Partnership
On 1st May 2012 Health and Safety Minister, Arlene Foster and Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill launched the new Farm Safety Partnership. The aim of the partnership is to increase awareness of farm safety and to reduce work related fatalities on farms.
The Partnership brings together some of the key stakeholders with an interest in farm safety in Northern Ireland. It is made up of representatives from the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI), the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD), the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU), the National Farmers’ Union Mutual (NFUM) and the Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster (YFCU). HSENI is an agency sponsored by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI) and it therefore represents the interests of that Department in the Partnership.
UFU Member, Beef and Sheep farmer from Aughnacloy