Child Farm Safety Week – Keep your children safe on our farms

Date published: 09 June 2022

This week is Child Farm Safety Week, and it is very fitting as HSENI’s Agriculture team are extremely busy visiting rural primary schools to give farm safety talks to Primary one and Primary seven pupils right across Northern Ireland (NI) on the run up to the summer holidays!

Child safety on farms week 2022

We would also like to remind all schoolchildren in NI to get their entries into our annual ‘Avoid Harm on the Farm’ poster competition, where the 12 winning entries will form part of our 2023 farm safety calendar.

This year’s competition was launched on 1 June and will run until the end of June. Children in NI from Primary Schools and Special Schools are invited to enter our competition by drawing a poster outlining the dangers that are present on farms.

Farmyards are busy workplaces and children are more at risk during the school holidays as they spend more time on the farm. The farm can be a place of great fun and excitement for children, but it can also be an extremely dangerous environment, so keeping children safe on our farms must remain a priority.

All 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 away from the risks.

Camilla Mackey, Head of the Agri-Team at HSENI said: “HSENI would encourage your children to enjoy the farm! There are plenty of things that children can do to help out and these are excellent life skills for the future but REMEMBER, this is wholly dependent on the child’s age and maturity. Parents MUST be very mindful of this and ensure children of all ages are adequately supervised on the farm at all times. Children must also never be carried on agricultural vehicles or machinery during work activities until they are aged 13 years or over.

“Children of all ages are naturally curious, so it is really important that they are educated about safety on the farm from an early age so that they are aware of the potential dangers and learn how to avoid them.

“The annual poster competition is an ideal way for parents to remind their children about how to stay safe on the farm. I would encourage parents to help their children identify dangers such as tractors and machinery, silage harvesting and slurry operations, for example, and illustrate to us their ideas on farm safety.” 

Information for parents on child safety can be found at: 

Details about the poster competition and the terms and conditions can be found at:

Notes to editors: 

  1. The ‘Be Aware Kids – child safety on farms’ campaign is the largest initiative in NI to engage with children on the issue of farm safety. The programme has been running since 1999 and is extremely well known in the farming industry. This initiative includes the annual ‘Avoid Harm on the Farm’ Poster Competition, which has been running since 2003. 
  2. The Farm Safety Partnership comprises the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI), the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA), the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU), NFU Mutual (NFUM), the Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster (YFCU), The Farm Safety Foundation (FSF), and the Northern Ireland Agricultural Producers Association (NIAPA). It is tasked with assisting Northern Ireland’s farming community to work safely and tackle the problem of work-related fatalities and injuries on farms.
  3. The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) is an Executive Non-Departmental Public Body, sponsored by the Department for the Economy (DfE).
  4. HSENI is the lead body responsible for the promotion and enforcement of health and safety at work standards in Northern Ireland.
  5. For media enquiries please contact HSENI Press Office on 028 9024 3249 or email For out of office hours please contact the Duty Press Officer on 028 9037 8110.

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