Irwin calls for farm safety television advert
Newry & Armagh DUP Assemblyman Cllr. William Irwin MLA has raised the possibility of the Department of Enterprise Trade and Investment commissioning a television advertisement highlighting the dangers associated with working on a farm.
Irwin says he had written to Minister Arlene Foster in July 2012 requesting that her department consider the commissioning of a televised advertisement, similar to the successful road safety ads, following a number of tragedies on Northern Ireland farms.
In response the minister stated that her department would give “due consideration” to this proposal and Irwin believes that an advert would be an important instrument in getting the farm safety message “firmly into farming minds”.
The elected representative is tabling a question to the DETI minister in the Assembly requesting further updates on any discussions that have been held following his correspondence earlier in the year.
He said: “I have tabled a parliamentary question to the minister to enquire if any further consideration has been given to this proposal since first raising the matter back in July.
“I know that there has been some discussion in the press on the issue and indeed our previous First Minister Dr Paisley made a very impassioned plea for such an advert following the terrible tragedy involving the Spence family.”
“DETI have authority over the Health and Safety Executive and I know that organisation have now commenced a very important initiative involving visiting 1000 farms across the province to offer guidance and advice on farm safety.
“I feel this valuable initiative could be further complimented with a suitable television advertising campaign that would reach into everyone’s home to highlight the various dangers and risks involved in agriculture.”
He added: “Whilst a television advert would reach a vast audience and of course many homes not involved in agriculture, I feel an advert would still be a very effective tool in enforcing the message of farm safety and the need to prepare well and reduce risks around the farm.”
“The statistics are startling with 42 farm related deaths since 2007 and many more people receiving injuries through accidents.
“However behind the statistics there are real stories of family devastation and we must remember that a farm death not only leaves behind a family without a loved one but in many cases without their bread winner and provider.
“That is a huge upheaval and therefore I feel DETI, DARD and the HSENI should really give this proposal the fullest consideration.”
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