Farms are workplaces not playgrounds

HSE is calling on the farming industry to keep their children safe this summer.

Most children who are killed in farm incidents are family members. Keep children out of work areas. Make sure play areas are away from the work area and secure.

With the school holidays, children will be spending more time in the home area of the farm. Make sure your children are in a safe place and kept out of any work area.

What you need to know:

• Children shouldn’t be in an active workplace. If children are taken into a work area, they must be closely supervised by an adult who isn’t involved in any work.

• It is against the law for any child under 13 years old to drive or ride on any agricultural machine. Legally, you have to carefully control what older children do. The law requires that you keep them safe.

• Children must be fully supervised and kept separated from animals. Keep children out of pens, out of handling facilities and well away when animals are being moved or handled.

HSE is working with the Farm Safety Partnerships in Scotland, England and Wales and supporting the focus being placed on child health and safety over the summer. The Partnerships have decided the continuing number of children killed, injured or exposed to risks to their health must stop. Farming families are being devastated because children are in the workplace.

HSE’s Head of Agriculture, Andrew Turner said: “We should always separate our work life from our home life and farming should be no different to any other job. Farms are full of hazards – big machines, large animals, deep lagoons, a variety of chemicals and hazardous dust – they are not a place for children.

“Work should stop immediately if an unsupervised child appears in any work area.

“HSE and the Farm Safety Partnerships are asking all farmers, contractors and supply chain organisations to get involved and ensure children are protected.”

HSE has a range of resources and guides available to help those working on the farm manage risks appropriately. More information about keeping children safe on the farm can be found here.