Irwin calls for televised farm safety campaign
Newry and Armagh DUP Assemblyman and Stormont Agriculture Committee member Councillor William Irwin MLA has written to the Stormont Executive requesting that a farm safety television advertisement campaign is commissioned. The call comes as farming families were plunged into grief following farming accidents in Co. Armagh, Co. Antrim and Co. Donegal recently.
Irwin said that whilst the current farm safety road show campaigns led by the Health & Safety Executive were “to be commended” he felt the message was not hitting home in the way that a television advert could.
Speaking to Newry Times, Irwin stated, “Farm fatalities cause untold misery for families and the legacy of a farm death for those left behind is really far reaching. Many families are left without a father, brother, or son and in many cases the victim is the main worker on the farm which is very disruptive for any family.”
“Having visited the homes of those affected in recent times I feel it really is time that the message of farm safety was given the highest level of publicity possible and I feel the only way to achieve this is by a suitable television campaign. I think immediately of the road safety TV campaigns and how effective they are at bringing home the message to drivers and pedestrians of the need for awareness whilst on our roads.”
He continued, “I feel given the high level of farm fatalities in recent months a similar television campaign would send the message of farm safety in to every living room and really hammer home the need for caution and good practice whilst working on farms.”
“I know the Minister herself comes from a rural background and is aware of the recent tragedies and I hope that this proposal can be given adequate consideration as I feel the statistics of farm fatalities make for very worrying reading. Looking ahead there is certainly cause for concern as we move to this phase of the summer as the weather has been very poor and this has led to a delay for farmers getting work done.”
“There is therefore the potential for a rush of activity on our farms as we move into the latter half of the summer. When jobs are rushed and time is tight there is the potential for an accident. Farm safety needs to be high on the farm agenda and I would reiterate my call for farming families to ensure that procedures are carried out with the least possible risk,” Irwin added.
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