HSENI reminds parents to ‘keep your children safe on your farms’

The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland is reminding the farming community of child safety on farms, at this year’s Balmoral Show.

This year, as well as stressing the importance of recognising the dangers to children on our farms, the HSENI will also host, along with its Farm Safety Partnership associates, a ‘Spot The Hazards’ on a model farm competition, aimed at testing children’s knowledge of safety around the farmyard, and offering four Samsung tablets as prizes, one per day of the Show.

Every child loves being on the farm, but while it can be a place of great fun and excitement, it can also be an extremely dangerous environment. 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 jobs and operations taking place on the farm that cause the most risk.

Launching HSENI’s stand at this year’s show, Chief Executive Robert Kidd said: “It’s great to be back at the Balmoral Show this year after the disruption of the last couple of years. We are looking forward to engaging at the show with the farming community again and talking to people about working and living safely on farms.

Robert Kidd

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“This year our focus is on child safety on farms, which remains a strategic key focus for HSENI and the Farm Safety Partnership. HSENI are asking the farming community to educate your children about what the hazards are on the farm and find ways to reduce the risk in these potentially dangerous areas, using fences and locks and removing keys to machinery and vehicles.

“It is impossible to make your farm completely safe, but always keep children away from moving machines particularly during silage making, slurry operations and harvesting and never allowing children to get close to potentially dangerous farm animals such as bulls are very simple precautions farm families can take to keep their children safe.

“Sadly, when something goes wrong, a few seconds is all it takes to change lives forever. I am urging the farming community to take a moment to think about the safety of children and to put in place simple measures so that your family have a happy and safe summer on the farm.”

To find out more about child safety on our farms, or general farming health and safety issues in Northern Ireland, please contact the HSENI Helpline on: 0800 0320 121, visit us on www.hseni.gov.uk or follow us on Twitter @Hsenigov.