The Health and Safety Executive in Northern Ireland (HSENI) encourages the farming community to take care when in the countryside.
The message comes in support of Farm Safety Week (19-23 July) as a timely reminder to those who work and farm in the countryside or visit for recreation.
‘Farm animals are not pets’
HSENI chief executive, Robert Kidd, said: “The countryside offers many attractions all year around.”
“Camping, fishing, general sight-seeing and walking, especially in the summertime, attracts an increasing number of visitors.”
“Our advice is simple. Always be mindful of the natural dangers and hazards that exist in the countryside.
“Farm animals may look friendly, but they are not pets. All animals present a risk and can quickly become agitated and aggressive when disturbed. Large animals, such as bulls, cows and calves, can cause serious injury or even death.”
How farmers can keep the public safe
He said by following the Countryside Code and respecting private farm land; everyone can enjoy a “safe and enjoyable visit”.
He added that the farming community plays a “vital” role.
They are being asked to continue with their work in helping keep everyone safe by:
- Erecting warning signs advising of local dangers such as hedge cutting;
- Ensuring all gates are closed;
- Also, taking extra care when operating farm vehicles on public roads.
Visitors to the countryside should keep to marked paths. Cyclists, and horse riders, should ensure that others can see them by wearing bright, contrasting clothing by day and reflective clothing at night.
The HSENI has issued other key messages this week. It urges the farming community to use the appropriate equipment for all jobs, as it might just save a life.
The message comes as part of Farm Safety Week, which runs from Monday, July 19th, 2021.
Figures show that farming has the poorest safety record of any occupation in the UK.
The HSENI said the lack of proper equipment and machinery, far too often injuries and fatalities.
The HSENI encourages farmers to ‘wake up’ to the issue of tiredness during their daily routines.
HSENI chief executive, Robert Kidd, said: “Tiredness and fatigue can have serious consequences within the farming community, and can lead to minor and major injuries and even fatality.”
“HSENI is encouraging farmers and contractors to consider their working patterns and ensure that sufficient breaks are taken to combat the issue of tiredness.”
Overworking can lead to conditions such as musculoskeletal disorders, work-related stress and decreased awareness.
In turn, this can lead to incidents, so it is important not to underestimate the risks of tiredness.