For many people in Northern Ireland, farming is more than a job, it is a way of life and its importance to the local economy cannot be underestimated. In fact, recent statistics show that approximately 47,800 people are employed across 24,500 farms. Indeed the value and importance of agriculture to society is best summed by Zimbabwean ecologist Allan Savory who stated: “Without agriculture it is not possible to have a city, stock markets, banks, university, church or army. Agriculture is the foundation of civilisation and any stable society.”
Unfortunately, farming is not without its dangers, as illustrated by the high death rate which has averaged at almost seven people per year over the last decade. A survey conducted by the NI Safety Partnership in 2015 revealed that 4.8% of farms reported an accident occurring during the previous twelve months. Indeed, the Farm Safety Partnership itself was created in 2012 in an effort to address concerns regarding the number of accidents occurring on farms, and quickly identified four key dangers; slurry, animals, falls and equipment, commonly referred to by the acronym SAFE.
Cormac Blee, an associate in BLM’s Derry location examines the first of the categories of danger - slurry - in an article published in Farming Life this week.
Click here to read the full article.