Northern Ireland Partnership Launches Farm Vehicle Safety Ad

The ad is part of the broader "STOP and Think SAFE" campaign calling attention to the four leading causes of death on local farms: Slurry, Animals, Falls (from height) and Equipment.

A new TV advertisement debuted in Northern Ireland last week to promote safety around farm vehicle visibility. Unveiled by the Farm Safety Partnership as part of the ongoing "Stop and Think SAFE" campaign, the new ad underlines the need to stop and think before doing any work; it features the possible aftermath of the accidental death of a young boy on a farm while stressing that such accidents can be avoided by putting simple safety measures in place.

"This is a powerful advertisement with a hard-hitting message that challenges us on an emotional level. However, we can't shy away from the realities of the total devastation that can befall a family after a fatal farm accident, particularly one involving a child. While awareness about safety is high across the industry, farmers must step up and take responsibility for making sure they follow safe working practices at all times," Northern Ireland Health and Safety Minister Arlene Foster said.

Michelle O'Neill, minister for the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, agreed. "Farmers have told us that they need to hear powerful safety messages, and there is no doubt that this ad delivers. Anyone who cuts corners around safety needs to understand that they are risking tragic consequences that will leave a trail of heartbreak for themselves and their families," she said.

The Health and Safety Executive of Northern Ireland's chairman, George Lucas, said "As the advert shows, heavy machinery is part of modern farming and farmers need to maintain their vehicles properly. This includes taking the simple step of ensuring that vehicle mirrors are clean and undamaged so that visibility is not impaired." According to HSENI, seven people died on Northern Ireland's farms i 2014, raising the number of deaths since 2000 to 98.

The "STOP and Think SAFE" campaign is focused on the four main causes of fatalities on local farms: Slurry, Animals, Falls (from height) and Equipment. For more information on farming health and safety issues in Northern Ireland, visit www.hseni.gov.uk/farmsafe.

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