“A farm is a great environment to grow up on, but the farm and farmyards are dangerous, with 10% of all fatalities on-farm involving children”.
That is the main message Teagasc is conveying as part of its new joint collaborative campaign with the HSA, Farm Safety Partnership and FBD Insurance.
The bodies have produced a series of short videos containing industry-leading life-saving advice covering livestock handling, farmer’s health, sheep farming, chemicals, children, slurry handling, harvesting and farm machinery.
In its child safety video, the partners outlined that “children should not be allowed on the farm if they are not properly supervised”.
“Children see tractors and farm machinery as toys. Almost 90% of deaths involving children are caused by tractors, farm vehicles and machinery.”
“Do not give young children the habit of travelling in the tractor or farm vehicle. Otherwise, every time they hear the tractor being turned on, they will want to go for a spin. Children love to explore.”
Driving tractors in Ireland
The spokesperson added that young adults must be at least 16 to drive a tractor on the public road.
Moreover, all drivers must have an appropriate driver’s licence and vehicle insurance when driving on the road.
They stressed: “Remember children under 7 should not be on a tractor or farm vehicle, even if a passenger seat is provided.”
“Children over 7 and young adults may only travel on a tractor if a seat and seat belt are provided. Children must be 14-years-old to drive a tractor,” the spokesperson outlined.
Farm safety: Main messages in video:
- Safety of children on farms is vital;
- Communicate the dangers;
- Parents and guardians must play a key role in educating children regarding farm safety;
- Teach children from an early age to farm safely;
- Talk to children about farm safety during visits to the farm, including the risks associated with livestock;
- Refer to the Code of Practice on Preventing Accidents to Children and Young Persons in Agriculture when carrying out a child safety risk assessment of the farm;
- Provide a safe, secure play area;
- Tasks must be appropriate to age and ability;
- Adequate instruction, supervision, and training to operate the machine safely.
- Open slurry pits or slurry tanks are especially dangerous;
- Large open drinking troughs in fields also a high risk;
- Falling objects: 5% of child fatalities;
- Climbing on bales, walls, and gates can be highly dangerous.
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