How safe is your farm for children? Check it out

With farming activities intensifying over the summer months and children on holidays from school it is important that extra vigilance is given to farm safety, Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney says.

Health and Safety Authority (HSA) statistics show that in the past 10 years tractors and machinery are responsible for almost half (49%) of all farm deaths in past 10 years, and 68% of childrens farm deaths.

The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) has a check-list to avoid harm on the farm.

Securing all heavy wheels, gates, heavy equipment and stacked materials to prevent them from toppling over and keeping chemicals locked in a secure store when they’re not in use are on the check-list.

Ensuring guards are in place to prevent access to dangerous parts of machinery is also on the list.

HSENI farm safety checklist kids

The HSA earlier this year released a number of videos with children speaking about farm safety.

One such child, Brady Maguire, lives on a farm with 100 sucklers and talks about the dangers on the farm.

“A PTO shaft is dangerous if it doesn’t have a chain or a cover on it. If you touch it, it could pull off your arm or your finger or your hand,” he said.

Brady also says how fertiliser is dangerous as putting it in your mouth can burn your mouth.

My dad told me that. I was going to eat it one time when I was younger but I didn’t swallow it.

“When you’re mixing slurry with agitator you always keep the doors of the shed open and you have to secure all your cattle so they’re not in the shed or at least open the doors for them.

“Why? Because the fumes could come in and kill you.

“Bales are dangerous because if you were climbing on them they could fall on you and crush you,” he said.

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