Summer safety on farms

Friday, 28 June, 2019

The UFU is urging parents to be vigilant this summer as schools close for the holidays. With curious minds and adventurous spirits, children love to get out on the farm to meet the animals and discover, however farms are a place of work and are a dangerous environment for children.

Spreading the message of farm safety this summer UFU president Ivor Ferguson said, “Children are naturally curious. Farms, and in particular working farms, can be tempting places for them to play and often children do not understand the dangers a farm can present.  It can be very difficult to both supervise children and work on the farm. With this in mind, parents should think about preventative measures they can put in place to help protect children from the dangers. 

"These measures include providing children with a securely fenced off play area, ensuring unattended vehicles are kept locked, and discouraging children from using bales of any description for playing.”

The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) are calling on the farming community to keep children safe on the farm this summer and they have provided a farm safety checklist for parents:

  • Have a safe and secure play area for young children
  • Prevent children from playing in or around farmyards and livestock
  • Prevent all children under the age of 13 from riding on tractors and farm machinery
  • Restrict the use of the quad and provide suitable safety equipment
  • Secure all heavy wheels, gates, heavy equipment and stacked materials to prevent them from toppling over
  • Ensure your slurry lagoon is securely fenced to prevent children from gaining access and make sure tank covers are always in place 
  • Always keep children well away when mixing slurry
  • Keep track of where family members are playing or working and when they are expected back 
  • Make sure everyone washes their hands before eating and drinking 
  • Keep chemicals locked in a secure store when not in use
  • make sure that guards are in place to prevent access to dangerous parts of machinery
  • Make sure all family members know what to do in an emergency 
  • Prepare a list of emergency contact telephone numbers