14 Sep 2021

Child safety on farms was focus of FSP meeting

Child safety on farms was the focus of the latest meeting of the Farm Safety Partnership (FSP).

The message is even more pertinent following an incident at a farm in Wales when a child was killed after being struck by a towed trailer on September 6, 2021, according to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

People often believe children raised on farms understand risks, but most of those who die in farm accidents are family members. Figures from the Health and Safety Executive show that the ways in which children are killed varies little from year to year. The most common causes of death and major injury in the last decade were:

■ falling from vehicles;

■ being struck by moving vehicles or objects;

■ contact with machinery;

■ driving vehicles;

■ falls from height;

■ drowning and asphyxiation;

■ poisoning;

■ fire;

■ contact with animals. 

The key message (applicable particularly for children under the age of 13) is: 

Although parents are responsible for preventing their children straying or trespassing into areas where they may be at risk, all adults working in agriculture – employers, employees, contractors, or other visiting workers – must take responsibility for child safety.

The Farm Safety Partnership consists of organisations representing a broad spectrum of agricultural interests, including the large farming membership organisations; auctioneers; training providers; farming press; and machinery dealers.

The partnership continues to work hard to improve safety and to reduce fatalities on farms and allied industries. Our ultimate ambition: to reach a point where there are no farming fatalities.

The FSP target on the way to achieving this is to halve the number of farm-related deaths by the end of the 2023/2024 reporting year.

You may ask what can agricultural and garden machinery dealers do to help?

You all visit farms and small holdings during your day-to-day business when servicing or demonstrating equipment, and maybe have seen situations that could have resulted in an incident. You may also have family and friends involved with farming or work on the land yourself.

However difficult it might be to make your customer aware of your concerns, surely the chance of stopping a serious injury or worse should come above upsetting them.

Follow the Farm Safety Partnership on Twitter and maybe we can reduce the number of fatalities and serious injuries in the industry.

Twitter handle: @FSP_England

Use the #’s: #ComeHomeSafe