Ballymena Livestock Market raises awareness of Farm Health & Safety

Date published: 19 January 2018

Farm Family Key Skills [FFKS] scheme continues to offer free Health and Safety courses to the farming community. The key message from the training urges the entire farm family to ‘Stop and Think’. With the number of fatalities and accidents on Northern Ireland farms remaining high everyone in the agri-food industry needs to raises awareness of farm safety.

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During 2018 College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) will be promoting health and safety workshops through the Livestock Marts and will be holding workshops in Marts, throughout Northern Ireland. The first of this series of health and safety workshops will be taking place at Ballymena Livestock Mart on Tuesday 23 January 2018 at 7.00 pm.

Ballymena Livestock Mart Manager Sam McNabney is keen that local farmers and their family members attend this free workshop at their local mart as 'Health & Safety is so important and to those farmers who work on their own, their business could close if health and safety goes wrong.'

The Farm Family Key Skills (FFKS) scheme is managed by CAFRE and is a key element of the EU Rural Development Programme 2014-2020. The health and safety theme of Farm Family Key Skills aims to increase the health and safety knowledge and awareness of farmers, farm family members and farm employees. The workshop is made up of real life stories, up to date information and provides a practical understanding of farm risks. The course looks at health and safety risks when dealing with slurry, working with animals, potential falls and risks when working with farm equipment.

To date over 300 farm family members have completed the Health and Safety training. As a result of doing the course 100% of these participants stated their awareness of health and safety has improved. As a result of the training participants have introduced new or reviewed health and safety practices on their farm. A recent participant of the training stated: “If one dangerous habit can be broken by attending one of these workshops, it is definitely worthwhile.”

As part of the a new year resolution farm families should enrol on the workshop being held at Ballymena Livestock Mart on Tuesday 23 January 2018 at 7.00pm. This workshop is free to farmers, members of the farm family and employees.

To enrol, please contact the Rural Development Council on 028 8676 6980 or visit the CAFRE webpage

Notes to editors: 

  1. The Northern Ireland Rural Development Council (RDC) has been appointed to deliver Health & Safety training as part of the Farm Family Key Skills scheme.
  2. Farm Family Key Skills aims is to increase the levels of knowledge and skills in agricultural and commercial horticulture businesses.
  3. Managed by the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE), the programme is funded through the Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme with support from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD).
  4. For more information please contact RDC Tel: 028 8676 6980, email:
  5. Follow DAERA on Twitter and Facebook.
  6. All media enquiries to DAERA Press Office or tel: 028 9052 4619.


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