Over half of all farm accident victims in NI during the past 10 years were over 65 years old, figures obtained from the Health and Safety Executive NI (HSENI) show.
There have been 62 fatal accidents on NI farms over the period, with 32 of these incidents involving over 65’s. The figures show that 27 farm fatalities involved people aged between 21 and 64 years old, and three were aged under 14. The vast majority of victims (59) were male.
The figures span the 10-year period since the farm safety week campaign began in NI. The annual initiative, which is running this week, aims to raise awareness of the dangers posed on local farms.
Machinery, vehicles, and equipment was the most common cause of farm deaths in NI during the timeframe as it led to 35% of all fatal accidents.
Livestock were responsible for 23% of fatalities, with bulls and freshly calved cows being the main concern. Falls from a height or falling objects led to 29% of farm deaths, 11% were caused by slurry gas, and one incident occurred in a grass silo.
Tyrone is the county with the poorest safety record in NI, with 21 fatal accidents occurring there since 2012.
Antrim and Down had 10 fatal farm deaths each, whilst eight incidents occurred in Fermanagh. There were seven farm deaths in Armagh during the period and six in Derry.
Speaking ahead of this year’s farm safety week, UFU president David Brown urged local farmers to be more aware of the dangers present on their farms.
“Everyone has a role to play to ensure no more farming families have to experience the untimely death of a loved one on farm,” he said.