UFU commends Chair of Farm Safety Partnership

Wednesday, 28 May, 2014

The Ulster Farmers’ Union has written to the Chairman of the Farm Safety Partnership for Northern Ireland George Lucas to commend him on his efforts to tackle the high number of preventable accidents on farm. 

UFU Rural Affairs Chair Freda Magill said: Since its formation, the Farm Safety Partnership (FSP) has been working tirelessly to combine resources and work closely with the farming community to develop a culture of safety-first on local farms.   Mr Lucas has helped drive the work of the partnership forward in a meaningful and strategic manner which is effecting real change on the ground.  And although it is impossible to prove, we are confident that this effort has already saved lives and will continue to do so as we work closely together on the latest action plan – ‘Taking the next steps to safer farms’.

“We believe that the biggest success of the partnership to date has been the manner by which the Action Plans have been targeted, carefully bringing the farming community on a step by step journey of change. In particular, the UFU appreciate how HSENI through the FSP have conducted their farm visits. By name alone these advisory inspectors have been true to the ethos of the Action Plan as feedback from farms has been positive and the farming community have been welcoming to these visits.  HSENI inspectors have not been over-bearing; have been knowledgeable and clearly well trained.  In addition, given the nature of farming here in Northern Ireland changing the attitudes towards health and safety on farm was an extremely difficult task. However, the farming community have embraced the FSP’s approach and have been very responsive and willing to make changes to save lives. Therefore, we feel it important to acknowledge and recognise this achievement and the positive impact that the FSP has had on farm safety.”

The UFU have every confidence that the success of the Farm Safety Partnership will continue to grow as they work together to drive up health and safety standards and significantly reduce work-related deaths, injuries and illnesses on farms.  The Union also believes that other Government Bodies could learn a lot from the work of the partnership and would encourage them to do so in pursuit of long-term sustainable change.