Primary school children throughout Northern Ireland are being urged to get creative and in the process learn important lessons about farm safety.

The Health and Safety Executive of Northern Ireland (HSENI) has launched a child farm safety poster competition in collaboration with the Farm Safety Partnership (FSP).

The HSENI wants primary school children to get involved in the ‘Avoid Harm on the Farm’ 2023 competition.

It plans to produce a 2024 farm safety calendar from the 12 winners of the competition – and the winners will all receive a £50 One4All voucher.

The competition is asking children to draw and colour in a picture to illustrate a farm safety message.

The pictures should feature some of the four key dangers on farms “slurry, animals, falls and equipment,” but the HSENI also welcomes submissions that highlight any other dangers children may recognise on a farm.

HSENI chief executive, Robert Kidd, said: “The annual HSENI poster competition is an ideal way for parents and teachers to remind their children about how to stay safe on the farm.

“I would encourage parents and teachers to help their children identify dangers they face on the farm and illustrate their ideas to us.

“HSENI are continuing to highlight the critical need for farming families to ensure that children are kept safe on the farm.”

He said the executive is also urging Northern Ireland’s farming community to think about the risks and put “simple practical measures” in place to make sure their children are safe at all times.

Kidd said this particularly applies during busy periods like the summer holidays when children are off school.

“Remember, farms are not playgrounds, and farming is the only workplace where children continue to lose their lives,” he said.

Kidd hopes the poster competition – which has run successfully for a number of years – will again attract support from Northern Ireland’s primary schools.

“Let’s keep the momentum going.

“We really need to ensure the safety of our children on farms and the poster competition is an excellent way to raise awareness of the dangers our children may face,” he said.