SINN Féin MLA, Bronwyn McGahan, has welcomed a scheme designed to improve safety on farms.
The Fermanagh-South Tyrone representative said: “I welcome the scheme launched by the HSENI designed to improve safety in farms. As someone who comes from a farming background I understand the dangers that are present all too well.
“There has been 42 fatalities over the past five years and this scheme is designed to help educate farmers in making safety a priority on their farm in an effort to reduce the numbers of farmers killed or seriously injured.
“I was concerned that Tyrone has the unfortunate position of having more deaths and injuries on farms than any other area so I am particularly interested in having this initiative implemented in the area. “The inspectors will visit over 1000 farms to do a safety appraisal and give advice on improving safety.
“Many of the deaths on farms are elderly farmers as many don’t have an option of retiring and it is important that we look at ways of protecting our elderly farmers.
“As my father continues to be a working farmer I can relate to this and endorse the recent DARD initiative specifically aimed at older farmers.
“It is also a call to all those who visit farms on a regular basis that they become aware of safety issues and adhere to them.
“This scheme will undoubtedly save lives and improve safety across the industry.”