HSA calls on schools to talk to children about farm safety

The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) is calling on primary school teachers to spend 30 minutes communicating farm safety messages to children.

Ahead of the high risk summer holidays the HSA has issued an appeal to all primary schools to help prevent children from being seriously injured or dying in a farm accident this summer, it says.

The HSA has written to all primary school principals asking them to make the last message they give to children before the summer break a farm safety message, it says.

Farm accidents have claimed the lives of 23 children in the last decade and farms remain the only workplace where children still continue to die, it says.

Recent weeks have seen the death toll rise again in what is always a horrific tragedy for families and heart-breaking for their communities, the HSA says.

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.

Chief Executive of the HSA, Martin O’Halloran said the HSA is calling on schools to join them in a national effort, to prevent children from being seriously injured or dying in a farm accident this summer.

“I am asking every teacher to spend 30 minutes communicating key farm safety messages to children. Summer is a very busy time for farmers when much work needs to be done.

Farmers need to be prepared for the presence of children during the holidays.

The top risks to children on farms in the summer period are: tractors, machinery and other farm vehicles; travelling on farm vehicles; unsupervised access to farm animals; playing near slurry pits or being around slurry agitation activity, the HSA says.

The HSA letter to schools includes a link to slides with key farm safety messages for children on the HSA website.

The slides contain links to further HSA farm safety resources on the website, which include a series of short Farm Safety videos involving children on their own farms, it says.

Image: Health and Safety Authority
Image: Health and Safety Authority
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