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Keeping Children Safe

Farms are not playgrounds

With recent school closures, children will now be spending more time at home and on the farm.   Farms are homes but also workplaces, so it is important to be aware of the many risks.  It is often thought that farm children have a good understanding of the risks on a farm, but there are still too many farm accidents involving them.

Now is a good time to think about the risks on your farm and to highlight these to children.  The video on this page has been produced by the Health & Safety Executive of Northern Ireland and is aimed at raising awareness of farm safety for younger children.

Whilst this might be a good opportunity for older children who are showing an interest in returning to the farm after education to get involved, it is important that they are properly supervised and any jobs they undertake have been carefully considered and all risks minimised.  Please use the guidance documents below for further information.

What you need to know

  • The law says that no child under 13 may drive or ride on tractors and other self-propelled machines used in agriculture.
  • Children under 16 must not drive, operate, or help to operate, any of the following:
    • towed or self-propelled harvesters and processing machines;
    • trailers or feed equipment with conveying, loading, unloading or spreading mechanisms;
    • power-driven machines with cutting, splitting, or crushing mechanisms or power-operated soil-engaging parts;
    • chemical applicators such as mounted, trailed or knapsack sprayers;
    • handling equipment such as lift trucks, skid steer loaders or all-terrain vehicles.
  • It is illegal to carry children under 13 in the cab of an agricultural vehicle and it is unsafe.

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