On day two of Farm Safety Week, the Farm Safety Partnership is reminding the farming community to keep your children safe on our farms during these busy summer months.
Children are naturally curious, particularly on working farms, they can be tempting places for them to play and often children do not understand the dangers a farm can present. That is why parents must think about the preventative measures they can put in place to help protect children from the risks they face on farms.
These measures include providing young children with a securely fenced off play area, preventing children under the age of 13 riding on agricultural vehicles as passengers, ensuring the farm quad is not driven by anyone under the age of 16 and those 16 or over must be trained and wear head protection. Secure any old equipment or gates to prevent them toppling over, ensure slurry stores are securely fenced and keep children away from all mixing operations.
In May and June of this year, HSENI’s Agriculture Team were busy visiting rural primary schools to give farm safety talks to Primary one and Primary seven pupils right across the province, promoting farm safety awareness and educating rural children on the risks they face on the farm. We would urge parents and families to talk to their children about farm safety and reiterate the messages they have learned at school.
The Agriculture Team also ran the annual ‘Avoid Harm on the Farm’ poster competition throughout the month of June, asking all primary school aged children to draw pictures of the key risks they see on the farm and submit these, twelve of which will be chosen as winners to form part of our 2023 farm safety calendar.
Camilla Mackey, head of HSENI’s Agri-Food Team said: “It is critical that our children are educated about farm safety so that they are aware of the potential dangers and learn how to avoid them. The Farm Safety Partnership are asking all farm families to make child farm safety a priority, particularly at this busy time with longer evenings and schools closed for the summer holidays. You must supervise your children if they are on the farm, the younger they are the more vulnerable they can be, and they simply do not understand the risk.
“All too often, children have access to the entire farm and view it as one big play space, this is hugely concerning. Children must be protected from the risks on the farm, they are workplaces not playgrounds.”
Information for parents on child safety can be found at: Be Aware Kids Child Farm Safety campaign
Notes to editors:
- 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.
- 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.
- The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) is an Executive Non-Departmental Public Body, sponsored by the Department for the Economy (DfE).
- HSENI is the lead body responsible for the promotion and enforcement of health and safety at work standards in Northern Ireland.
- For media enquiries please contact HSENI Press Office on 028 9024 3249 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For out of office hours please contact the Duty Press Officer on 028 9037 8110.
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