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Man dies in hospital days after slurry-related incident

A man has died in hospital following a farm accident in Northern Ireland.

The incident occurred in the Tassagh Road area, outside Keady in Armagh in recent days. It is understood he was mixing slurry at the time.

Farm accident in Northern Ireland

In a statement on Wednesday, to Armagh I, a spokesperson for the Police Service of Northern Ireland said:

“A man has died in hospital today following an incident at a farm in the Keady area on Saturday, September 25th.”

“The death is not being treated as suspicious, and the Health and Safety Executive has been informed.”

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the NI Ambulance Service told Armagh I, “The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service received a 999 call at 3.02 pm on Saturday, September 25th, following reports of an incident in the Tassagh Road area of Keady.”

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“NIAS despatched one emergency crew and one HART Officer and one Rapid Response Paramedic to the scene. The charity Air Ambulance with HEMs crew on board was also tasked to the incident.”

“Following assessment and initial treatment, one patient was airlifted to the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast,” the spokesperson concluded.

Take care when mixing slurry

On Monday (October 4th), the HSENI issued a reminder to farmers to follow the slurry mixing code to stay safe.

The closed period for slurry spreading will begin at midnight on Friday, October 15th, 2021.

“Slurry gas is a mixture of gases, including the extremely poisonous gas, hydrogen sulphide. Even a low concentration of hydrogen sulphide, can knock out your sense of smell, so you won’t even know it’s there.”

“At higher concentrations, you will rapidly find it harder to breathe and become confused – and at certain concentrations, just one breath can kill.”

“Mixing slurry can be a dangerous job as the gas is released very quickly and in large quantities as soon as the mixing starts.”

The first 30 minutes are the most dangerous. Therefore, it is important to remove all stock from the shed before mixing starts and for farmers to leave the building as soon as the mixing starts.

Also, it is vitally important to stay out of the shed for at least 30 minutes after mixing begins.

Brian Pryce, part of the agri-food team at HSENI, said:

“When mixing slurry, please stop and take time to think of the risks involved.”

“Do not take any chances when mixing slurry; your life may depend on it. Stop and think about the entire job ahead and ensure you follow the slurry mixing code.”

“Always keep children and animals away at all times during the mixing process. Farmers must stay out for 30 minutes after starting mixing or after moving or re-directing the pump.”

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