Farm Safety Week: Children and farms

farm safety week 2015 logo_275_219This year’s Farm Safety Week is being supported by a greater number of organisations than ever including the Farm Safety Foundation, Farm Safety Partnership, the Health & Safety Executive, Health & Safety Executive for Northern Ireland and the Health & Safety Authority, Ireland.

From falls and transport to child safety – Farm Safety Week (6-10 July) offers five days of themed practical advice and guidance.

It comes just after the HSE released the annual workplace fatality statistics for Great Britain.

#farmsafetyweek graphic, farm safety week, healthSome 33 fatal injuries to agricultural workers were recorded – a rate of 9.12 deaths per 100,000 workers, the same as the average of 33 deaths in the past five years and, unfortunately, an increase from the 27 deaths recorded in 2013/14.

Today’s focus: Children and farms

Rob Jones, Farm Safety Foundation Trustee, said: Every child loves being on the farm, but while it can be place of great fun and excitement, it can also be an extremely dangerous environment.

farm safety, children on farm, child running in fi"As a parent of two young children it is upsetting to read that 16 children have lost their lives on England’s farms over the past decade. Farms remain the only workplace where children still continue to die in what is always a horrific tragedy for families and heart-breaking for their communities. This is why it is important that the issue of farm safety is addressed, a plan is devised and implemented properly.

“Summer is a time when children can be more at risk with the long school summer holidays and the challenging workloads for farmers. We are encouraging farming families to have a dedicated safe play area for younger children so as to keep them safe from heavy machinery and other dangers around the farm, particularly when farms are at their busiest.

"Too often, children have access to the entire farm and view it as one big play space. Children must be taught about farm dangers and be kept isolated from these risks.

“While it is important that children are looked after they should still being encouraged to engage with farms in order to learn how they work and understand how food is produced. It is also important that the next generation of farmers are able to safely help their parents on the farm.

"If children are old enough, tell them about the dangers they should look out for and where they are not allowed to go and encourage them to be responsible. Don’t let them learn safety by accident. Always take the time to think about what you are doing on the farm, where the children are and what might go wrong as making a few simple checks could actually save a life – maybe your own child’s!”

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Last edited on: 10:07:2015

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