A Tyrone farm accident survivor is to share how he lost his arm as the third annual Farm Safety Week gets under way.
As a boy, William Sayers lost an arm and almost his life in an accident involving an unguarded PTO [drive] shaft.
In the last 15 years over 100 people have been killed on farms across Northern Ireland, making agriculture the most dangerous industry in which to work.
In almost half of these cases the cause of death was equipment related, whilst a further 11 people died in slurry mishaps and 24 more were killed by animals. A further 19 people died after falling from a farm structure.
“It is clear that statistics show that farming is a dangerous industry,” Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill said. “But they do not reflect the devastating impact on those left behind.
“We all know farms are dangerous places. Accidents still do occur and that is why we must work relentlessly to educate people of the dangers and how to keep safe.”
She was speaking at a memorial service in county Laois for victims of farm accidents across the island of Ireland.
In an effort to spread awareness of agricultural dangers in the north, the Farm Safety Partnership [FSP] is to issue advice for farmers on five different themes across Farm Safety Week.
As well as encouraging farmers to take their time and safety precautions for routine jobs, they will tackle the subject of falls, machinery, slurry, crush injuries and child safety between July 6-10.
The week will also feature powerful farm accident survivor stories - two from local farmers.
Speaking about the awareness program, George Luncas, FSP chair, said: “While I appreciate that farming activity is at full capacity over these busy summer months, there is still no excuse to ignore safety.
“By doing so, farmers put themselves, their workers and their families at risk - safety must never be an afterthought.”
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