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Farm Safety Week – Farming, it’s not child’s play

Day Five – Give farm kids a dedicated play space this summer

While any accident on a farm can be harrowing, when a child is involved it can have a far greater impact on the family and the whole community.

Farms can be great playgrounds for children growing up, but with four being killed in recent years on Scottish farms, the dangers that this can present can have sadly have fatal consequences.  And with Summer holidays now here, the time is right to ensure the safety of children on Scottish farms.

Today marks the final day of Farm Safety Week supported by the Farm Safety Foundation, Farm Safety Partnerships, the Health and Safety Executive, Health & Safety Executive for Northern Ireland and Health and Safety Authority, Ireland and today reminds us that farming is not child’s play.

Children and young people up to the age of 16 are killed and injured on farms, either because they are working on the farm or because they are playing there.

The incidents in Scotland in the last decade are heart-breaking.  They have included a young girl being hit by a reversing tractor and trailer as she cycled in the farmyard; another young girl was hit and crushed by an ATV against a gatepost; a teenage boy died when he fell through a plastic skylight window to the concrete floor below and another young boy died after being trapped underneath a farm quad bike when it overturned.

Across the UK, the ways that a child can lose their life on a farm vary little from year to year. The most common causes of death and major injury in the last decade include contact with machinery or animals, falls from height, drowning and asphyxiation and being struck by moving vehicles or objects.

NFU Scotland’s Chief Executive Scott Walker commented: “Every child loves being on a farm, but while it can be a place of great fun and excitement, it can also be an extremely dangerous environment – especially for children.

“Too many children have lost their lives on Scotland’s farms over the past decade in what is always a horrific tragedy for families and a heart-breaking event for their communities. The fact that farms remain a workplace where children still continue to be killed or injured makes it crucially important that the issue of farm safety is addressed, a plan is devised and implemented properly.

“Summer is a time when children can be more at risk with the long school summer holidays and the challenging workloads for farmers.  We are encouraging farming families to have a dedicated safe play area for younger children so as to keep them safe from heavy machinery and other dangers around the farm, particularly when farms are at their busiest.”

Note to Editors

  • For more information on safe practice with children on farms, visit:  http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg472.pdf
  • Farm Safety Week was first launched in 2013 and aims to cut the toll of accidents which give agriculture the poorest record of any occupation in the UK and Ireland. This year’s Farm Safety Week is being supported by a great number of organisations than ever before, including the Farm Safety Foundation, Farm Safety Partnerships, the Health and Safety Executive, Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland and the Health and Safety Authority, Ireland.
  • The third annual Farm Safety Week offered a week of themed practical advice and guidance for farmers and coincided with the Livestock Event at Birmingham NEC and the announcement of the latest Health & Safety in Agriculture statistics by HSE. From falls and transport to child safety – Farm Safety Week is urging farmers not to learn safety by accident especially when it comes to children.
  • If using social media to promote Farm Safety Week please use the hashtag #FarmSafetyWeek


Ends

Contact Bob Carruth on 0131 472 4006
 

Date Published:

News Article No.: 134/15


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