Northern Ireland Blackspot for Farm Accidents


70 people died in farm accidents in Northern Ireland in the past 10 years a recent study by the Health and Safety Executive in Northern Ireland has revealed.

Five of the victims were children the research into farm accidents and fatalities has revealed.

Added to this more people were killed in farming accidents than in any other form of industrial accident.

As a result a new Farm Safety Action plan has been drawn up to combat this appalling safety record.

The plan that has been drawn up is an attempt to manage the key hazards on the farm and has focused on slurry vats, animals, falls on the farm and work equipment deficiencies.

The tragic nature of farm accidents was highlighted particularly last year when three members of a family died in a slurry tank accident. This incident had a ‘profound effect on the farming community 

The accident in  September 2012 killed Ulster rugby player Nevin Spence, 22; his brother Graham, 30, and father Noel, 58, when they were overcome by slurry gas.

The Health and Safety Executive commented that there had been a welcome change the way farm accidents were being viewed- from being seen as a inevitable aspect of the sort of work that farming is to a more pro active attempt at prevention.

The Safety Executive indicated that farm work was particularly prone to the situation were an uncalculated risk was taken in the heat of the moment. Farmers should be encouraged to promote a farm safe message

Agriculture minister Michelle O’Neill said a partnership between the HSENI, UFU and other agriculturalists had been doing sterling work.

She commented “Every loss of life is a tragedy and can be avoided with simple steps and by stopping to think safe.

“The partnership’s new action plan will go a long way to influence future behaviour so that farmers, their families, and their employees are capable, motivated, and able to work safely to reduce accidents on farms.”

Specialist Injury Solicitors Comment:

The key issue in farm safety is that in some situations work on a farm involves taking an uncalculated risk. Farm workers should be trained to think safe to avoid doing this in the heat of the moment.

If you have been involved in an accident on a farm and want advice about whether you can claim personal injury compensation contact us on 01535 958778 for no obligation specialist legal advice on farm accidents and farm safety