With the closure of schools across the country during the coronavirus pandemic and the likelihood of children being at home on the farm for some time, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is calling on the farming industry to keep children safe.
Most children who are killed or seriously injured in farm incidents are family members. The advice from the HSE includes:
- Children should not be allowed in the farm work place. Young children should enjoy outdoor space in a fenced area
- Any access to the work area by children under 16, for example for education, knowledge or experience, should be planned and fully supervised by an adult who is not engaged in any other work activity
- Children under the age of 13 years are specifically prohibited from driving or riding on any agricultural machinery
Farms are full of many hazards such as vehicles, machinery, large animals, lagoons, dusts and chemicals. Children should not be in contact with any of those unless the risk of injury or bad health is carefully managed and controlled as per the above.
Further information on keeping children safe on farms is available here.