Child Farm Safety Week – Keep children safe on farms

09-June-22
Child Farm Safety Week – Keep children safe on farms

This week is Child Farm Safety Week, and it is very fitting as HSENI’s Agriculture team are extremely busy visiting rural primary schools to give farm safety talks to Primary one and Primary seven pupils right across Northern Ireland (NI) on the run up to the summer holidays.

CCMS would encourage schools to submit their entries to HSNEI’s annual ‘Avoid Harm on the Farm’ poster competition. This year’s competition launched on 1 June, will run until the end of June. Children from Primary Schools and Special Schools are invited to enter the competition by drawing a poster outlining the dangers that are present on farms. The 12 winning entries will form part of HSENI’s 2023 farm safety calendar.

Farmyards are busy workplaces and children are more at risk during the school holidays as they spend more time on the farm. The farm can be a place of great fun and excitement for children, but it can also be an extremely dangerous environment, so keeping children safe on farms must remain a priority.

All too often, children have access to the entire farm and view it as one big play space. Children must be taught about farm dangers and be kept away from the risks.

Camilla Mackey, Head of the Agri-Team at HSENI said:

“HSENI would encourage your children to enjoy the farm! There are plenty of things that children can do to help out and these are excellent life skills for the future but REMEMBER, this is wholly dependent on the child’s age and maturity. Parents MUST be very mindful of this and ensure children of all ages are adequately supervised on the farm at all times. Children must also never be carried on agricultural vehicles or machinery during work activities until they are aged 13 years or over. Children of all ages are naturally curious, so it is really important that they are educated about safety on the farm from an early age so that they are aware of the potential dangers and learn how to avoid them. The annual poster competition is an ideal way for parents to remind their children about how to stay safe on the farm. I would encourage parents to help their children identify dangers such as tractors and machinery, silage harvesting and slurry operations, for example, and illustrate to us their ideas on farm safety.”

Gerry Campbell CCMS Chief Executive added

“I am delighted to support Child Farm Safety Week and help raise awareness of the important message. Catholic schools provide the opportunity for holistic learning and play a positive role in raising standards not only in the classroom, but throughout the community and wider society. Agriculture has one of the highest fatal accident rates of any industry in Northern Ireland and is the only high-risk industry to contend with a constant presence of children. The “Be Aware Kids” resources developed by HSENI provide schools with an opportunity to inform students of key safety messages in an age appropriate manner. I believe that the resources will prove particularly beneficial to our educators in rural schools and encourage all schools to participate in this life saving campaign.”

Information for Teachers and Be Aware Kids Resources can be found at: Be Aware Kids - Child Safety on Farms Campaign | Health and Safety Executive Northern Ireland (hseni.gov.uk)

Details about the poster competition and the terms and conditions can be found at: www.hseni.gov.uk/farm-safety-poster-competition-terms-and-conditions

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