Now that summer is here, activity on the farm has become increasingly busier and children like to play outdoors which can be near all of the farming activity.
Extra farm safety vigilance is required when children are involved.
Statistics from the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) shows that in the past ten years, tractors and machinery are responsible for almost half (49%) of all farm deaths in the past 10 years. 68% of these were children’s farm deaths.
Although children may be intrigued by the big machinery and all the different aspects to the farm, every area of the farm comes with some form of danger and children need to be made aware of these dangers from day one. When they are out and about on the farm there will always be a risk of some form.
There are a number of measures you can take to help keep children safe on farms. These include:
n supervise children: A child should never be allowed on to a farm alone unless supervised by an adult. Go over the rules of the farm with your children at all times. Ensure they know all the risks and dangers involved.
n work areas should be off limits: Put warning signs up in all areas off limits and explain to children that these signs mean off limits. Fencing off a safe play area would be a wise move.
n keep children away from machinery and tractors: keep children well away from all machinery and transport in use. Lock unattended tractors and always remove keys from door. Always keep the keys out of sight of children too. Keep watch when machinery is on for children passing because you can never be too careful. Keep in mind that it is illegal for children under the age of 13 to be a passenger in a tractor and also to drive a tractor.
n keep children at a safe distance from livestock. Animals can feel threatened and provoked if a child frightens the animal accidentally, there may be risks involved. Animals guarding their young especially may be more aggressive than usual.
n keep poisons locked up: Keep all pesticides, cleaning fluids, veterinary medicines and equipment in their original containers and in a securely locked store.
n always try to prevent falls: Stop access to enclosed pens and to areas of height. Many serious injuries happen after a fall from a height or after a person has been hit by falling or moving objects, such as gates, building materials and bales. To prevent falls keep all buildings, walls and fences in a good safe condition. Always secure gates and doors.
n prevent drowning: Supervise children at all times when going near water. Securely cover or fence off all slurry facilities, wells, tanks and lagoons.
n prevent the spread of infectious disease: Bacteria can be spread easily on the farm. Ensure your children and you have washed your hands after being outside, after dealing with things on the farm, before cooking, before eating etc.
Children need to enjoy the outdoors and the outdoors is where every child should be care-free.
To prevent accidents from happening on the farm and to keep your mind at ease, what better way to allow them play than to make a safe and secure play area for the children. After all, the farmyard is not a playground.
FRS Fencing specialise in fencing and would be more than happy to head out to the farm to help you fence off a separate play area for your children away from the farm yard.
They offer every type of fencing to suit your needs. This way the children can play and you can get on with things having peace of mind.
For more information on what FRS Fencing have to offer call our South Tipp Branch on 052-7441598 or our Parkmore office on 0505-21166.
Be sure to head along to this year’s Tullamore show, where FRS will be demonstrating Farm Safety on Sunday, August 13, along with FBD and the HSA.