The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has urged farmers and agriculture workers to embrace new safety technologies in light of last year’s increase in farm deaths.
Last year seven fatalities were reported on farms in Northern Ireland, an increase of four in 2020, with just one fatal accident in 2019.
Farming still remains one of the most dangerous occupations by workplace fatalities. The profession accounted for 33 per cent of deaths investigated by the Health and Safety Executive NI during 2021/22.
The head of the health and safety executive’s agri-food team Camilla Mackey said: “The evolution of farm safety equipment is set to help make our farms much safer. The Farm Safety Partnership will continue to champion evolving safety technologies and highlight their benefits to farmers across Northern Ireland.
“While we look with optimism to the future, we must be mindful of the dangers that exist today. Our advice remains the same to farmers; guard machinery; plan and follow safe systems of working; and use the correct equipment for the job.”
The Executive have pointed to new technology used in farming such as autonomous electric tractors, large spraying drones, and on-vehicle cameras which can monitor dangerous areas and remotely stop the machinery if someone gets too close.
The guidance is part of the Farm Safety Action Plan 2020-2023 which is aimed at reducing the number of serious and fatal incidents.