More than 100 non-fatal farm incidents are happening on Northern Ireland farms each month, the Farm Safety Partnership (FSP) warned.
The FSP called on farmers during the launch of its latest Action Plan 2017/2020 last week (September 12) after it exposed figures which highlighted about 1,276 incidents required medical attention through the 12-months between March 2014 and April 2015, with most a result of being hit or trampled by an animal.
Speaking at the launch, FSP chairman Keith Morrison urged the industry to work towards a shift in behaviour to reverse its poor safety record and ‘make farms safer places to work’.
He said: “Farming and food production play a crucial role in the life and economy of Northern Ireland, but unfortunately we have also seen farming in the headlines for the wrong reasons.
“All too often accidents happen on our farms which are preventable, so we want to continue to raise awareness for everyone working on, or visiting, a farm.”
The announcement came only days after County Armagh cattle breeder Thelma Gorman, 67, died after an incident leading a cow.
Gardai and the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) are also investigating the death of a farmer in his 20s who died after experiencing breathing difficulties at a mushroom farm near Emyvale, County Monaghan, last Thursday (September 13).
Two of his colleagues are also in hospital receiving treatment after reportedly being found unconscious.
Barclay Bell, president of the Ulster Farmers Union said there was ‘still a big challenge ahead’ but it must start with changing farmer’s approach to risk.
“We all know there are many pressures on farmers, not least prices and the weather,” he added. “But the greatest threat to any farming business is an accident that leaves a family member unable to work or worse.”
The main causes of non-fatal accidents requiring medical attention were: