Industry experts will promote quad bike safety and chainsaw maintenance during this year’s Balmoral Show, which gets underway today (Wednesday 11 May) at Balmoral Park, Lisburn.
The demonstrations have been funded by the IOSH Northern Ireland Branch and will form part of Health and Safety Executive Northern Ireland’s (HSENI) activities at the show over the next three days.
HSENI has also joined forces with the Farm Families Health Checks Programme and Rural Support to highlight important safety and health issues facing the farming community.
Richard McIvor, chair of IOSH Northern Ireland Branch, said: “We felt that the Balmoral Show was an ideal opportunity to offer support to HSENI in achieving our common goal to improve farm safety in whichever way we can.
“We hope to share good practice that has been developed elsewhere to help raise awareness and provide support for the agricultural community, and in doing so raise the profile of IOSH in the sector.”
Agricultural safety is a key focus for the branch as it celebrates its 50th anniversary year in 2016. It has pledged to continue to support HSENI and its Farm Safety Action Plan.
HSENI chief executive Keith Morrison said: "I’d like to thank colleagues from IOSH Northern Ireland Branch for supporting our farm safety stand at this year’s Balmoral Show, and in particular for their sponsorship of our chainsaw and quad bike safety demonstrations.
“By building partnerships we can better help farmers and their families stay safe and healthy and it is important for all of us to play our part so that preventable accidents can be avoided.”
Keith also offered his congratulations to the branch on its 50th anniversary, saying: “While we have seen health and safety standards improve over the past 50 years it is clear that more needs to be done in all sectors. I look forward to HSENI and IOSH working together to ensure that health and safety excellence is an integral part of all work activity in Northern Ireland.”
HSENI’s activities at the Balmoral Show will focus on farm safety relating to it ongoing ‘Stop and Think SAFE’ campaign, while qualified nurses from the Farm Families Health Checks Programme will offer free health checks.
Rural Support will also be providing information on its services which help to address a number of issues that can cause added pressure for farmers, including stress and anxiety, farming paperwork and changing family circumstances.