The Health and Safety Authority and the Irish Primary Principals Network recently issued a joint appeal which promoted a strong farm safety message to all children before they get their summer holidays.
Summer holidays are a high risk time for children who are off school and spend a lot of time on their family farm or visiting friends’ and relatives’ farms. It is also an extremely busy time for farmers as a lot of work needs to be done.
Farming accidents have claimed the lives of 23 children in the last decade and account for 11 per cent of all farm fatalities over the period.
Farms remain the only workplace in Ireland where children continue to fall victim to fatalites.
Farm deaths involving children are always a horrific tragedy for families and heart breaking for communities and schools alike.
Activity on the farm has become increasingly busier and children like to play outdoors during the summer which can be near the farm activity, which can, indeed, be dangerous.
Extra farm safety vigilance is required when children are involved.
FRS has put together a few tips for families with farms and children to take into account and consider over the coming summer:
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.
n keep children at a safe distance from livestock. Animals can feel threatened and provoked if a child frightens the animal accidentally. Animals guarding their young 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 passed 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.
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 specialises 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 call FRS Fencing Roscrea on 0505-21166 or FRS Cahir on 052-7441598.