Agricultural Signs

Issued: 15 August 2022

 

With schools closed for the summer holidays, more children will be staying at home on the farm and HSE is reminding farmers that children should be kept safely away from any work activities.

Keep children safe on farms this summer: your farm, your responsibility

What you need to know: 

  • Children must not be allowed in th...

Issued: 15 August 2022

 

With schools closed for the summer holidays, more children will be staying at home on the farm and HSE is reminding farmers that children should be kept safely away from any work activities.

Keep children safe on farms this summer: your farm, your responsibility

What you need to know: 

  • Children must not be allowed in the farm workplace (young children should enjoy outdoor space in a secure fenced area)
  • Any access to work areas by children under 16, for education, knowledge or experience, must be planned and fully supervised by an adult not engaged in any work activity
  • Children under the age of 13 are specifically prohibited from driving or riding on any agricultural machine. It is illegal. It is never safe to have a child in the cab
  • Properly trained, instructed, and supervised older children can safely help with some straightforward tasks. There are things they cannot do - make sure you follow the law

  • You can find advice and guidance in our publication, Preventing accidents to children on farms

Every year children are killed or seriously injured during agricultural work activities, most of which are family members. HSE’s recently published farming fatalities report for 2021/22 (PDF) shows that 8 children were killed in farming between April 2017 and March 2022. Unfortunately, there have been more child fatalities on farms since March 2022.

 

HSE’s acting Principal Inspector (Agriculture Sector), Wayne Owen, said: 'During the summer holidays, children may be at home more on the farm. Farmers must ensure that any children living or visiting the farm are safe; they must be kept out of the workplace.

 

'Farms are full of hazards – vehicles and other machines, large animals, deep lagoons, a variety of chemicals and hazardous dusts – they are not a place for children, unless risk is very carefully managed. Farm work should stop immediately if an unsupervised child appears in any work area.'

 

Further information:

HSE has a range of resources and guides available on our agriculture website to help those working on farms to manage risks appropriately.

 

Our website also has more information about keeping children safe on the farm.

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