The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) began a week-long farmer health and wellbeing inspection campaign on Monday.

The authority said that research shows that farmers are at a higher risk of developing conditions including heart disease, obesity, back pain, stress, mental health issues and cancer.

Inspectors will identify and discuss these risks with farmers during the campaign, as well as providing guidance to farmers on mitigating these risks.

Senior agriculture inspector at the HSA Pat Griffin stated that the primary objective of the inspection campaign is to get farmers thinking about health and wellbeing.

Recognise problems early

“It’s critically important for farmers to recognise any health problems early and get treatment from their healthcare practitioner as early as possible,” he said.

“Poor health and wellbeing can also increase the risk of having a serious or fatal injury on your farm.

“We know farmers work hard to protect nature, the land, their animals and machinery, but it’s important that they also assess and protect their own health and wellbeing and ensure it's given priority in their working lives.

“The resources are available and we would encourage all farmers to utilise them. Remember, the saying ‘your health is your wealth’ is so true in farming.”