14-07-2014 15:03 PM | News

Farmers urged to be aware of dangers to children



The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) is urging farmers and their families to be more aware of the dangers for children at this time of year.

According to the world’s largest professional health and safety organisation, the school summer holidays bring with them even greater opportunities for youngsters to come into danger on farms.

Agricultural machinery is a source of curiosity for children and tends to draw them towards eventful work areas. But, very young people can be hard to see, putting them in serious danger of being struck by moving vehicles - especially during busy times, such as during silage making, grain harvesting and slurry spreading.

IOSH Rural Industries Group Vice-Chair Alan Plom said: “Every death in a work place is a tragedy, but this can be particularly hard when it’s a child and a member of the family on their home farm.

“The summer is an exceptionally significant period to think about the hazards that farming holds for our younger generation. It’s no fluke that school holidays occur at the same time as hectic periods on farms. The school calendar was designed around the agricultural rota so farmers’ offspring could help with the harvest.”

Mr Plom added: “Although farm workers might be familiar about the risks posed to them, they might not have thought that the threats could be different for children. For example if a propped up gate, tractor wheel or other such piece of equipment was knocked and fell on an adult it might cause a minor injury, but to a young person it might be fatal. It’s worth looking around your farm with a child’s view of the world.”

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