Farms are family enterprises — and that means they’re one of the few workplaces where children often live and play on the same site where powered mobile equipment and hazardous materials are located. Every farmer’s safety and health plan should include precautions to protect children, whether their own or visiting relatives’ and neighbours’.
Most incidents involving children happen when they play unsupervised, ride or play on powered mobile equipment, wander away from supervision and can access livestock barns and sheds on their own. The most common injuries are drowning, entanglement, being run over, falling and being crushed.
A farm safety plan that protects children should include creating a fenced-in, gated, safe play area, checking around equipment before operation, not leaving keys in the ignition, not carrying children as passengers and/or ensuring passengers wear seatbelts, and constant supervision.
When children begin helping out on the farm, it’s important to ensure they are physically, mentally and emotionally prepared and trained to do tasks suitable for their age.