Press Release

Upwards Trend in Farm Related Accidents Must Be Addressed, says Committee

Session: 2013/2014

Date: Thursday, 07 November 2013

Reference: AGR 03/13/14

The Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development has highlighted the importance of farm safety with a visit to a local farm today.  Cleland Farm, a sheep farm in Saintfield, hosted the Committee and demonstrated best practices in farm safety. 

 Speaking after the visit, Committee Chairperson, Paul Frew MLA said: “We are all too familiar with the tragedy of farm related accidents here in Northern Ireland. Although recent data that the Committee has considered suggests that we have fewer fatal injuries as a result of farm related accidents compared to GB and the RoI, that same data suggests that farm related fatalities are on the rise in Northern Ireland.  This upwards trend is troubling and we need to take action to stop it. 

 “Today’s visit to the Cleland Farm has given the Committee an opportunity to witness what can be achieved when farm safety best practices are put into place and followed.  I commend Cleland Farm for being a great example of an efficient, successful and most importantly, safe farm. I would encourage more of our local farms to adhere to farm safety guidance.  Farming can be a lonely and solitary job and when you are working on your own it is vital to take all precautions and not cut corners.”

 Deputy Chairperson, Joe Byrne MLA said: “Farming accidents are becoming too frequent and the tragedy is that a lot of them could have been prevented with proper adherence to simple practical measures including health and safety training and initiatives.  Many of the risk factors for farming accidents can be minimised with some simple assistance to reduce the number of incidents here. 

 “The Committee would like to see more farms put best practices into place and to really think about the risks when going about their day to day work.  Cleland Farm is an excellent example of a farm that is doing just that.”


Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development on their visit to Cleland Farm

Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development on their visit to Cleland Farm

Notes to Editors:

Committee Membership:

Mr Paul Frew – Chairperson
Mr Joe Byrne – Deputy Chairperson
Mr Thomas Buchanan
Mrs Jo-Anne Dobson
Mr William Irwin
Mr Declan McAleer
Mr Trevor Lunn
Miss Michelle McIlveen
Mr Oliver McMullan
Mr Ian Milne
Mr Robin Swann

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