The safety of children on farm must be our priority as farming families.
Managing this requires:
- Setting rules
- e.g. NO going up to the sheds without mum or dad
- Enforcing those rules and regularly teaching them to the children who live on farm
- Ongoing dialogue about farm safety within the farming family
- e.g. Dad CANNOT see you when he is moving machinery around
- Separation of work yards from house yards
- if you have inherited an undesirable workplace layout, do the best you can, think about what other things you can do to ensure child safety or what you can rearrange
- Fencing off dams (if you’re lucky enough to have water in a dam!)
- Fencing off wells, bores or windmills if possible, especially if they are nearby to the farm residence
- Guns locked away in an appropriate cabinet
- Visiting children must be supervised
Children Riding in Machinery
Farm kids love to go with mum or dad in the tractors, it’s just the reality of farm life.
It’s your choice as a parent if you allow this. We do……. but we have rules! These are the parameters for our children:
- Child must have same protections as the driver (cab, seatbelt etc)
- Strictly only cab machines
- Must wear seatbelt
- No riding in sprayer when applying chemicals like Paraquat, 2-4D, insecticides and other very toxic substances. Basically, Round up & other more minor chemicals only.
- Child must stay in the cab until assisted to exit down the ladder
- Child must be supervised & assisted when entering and exiting machine
- Booms and combs must be switched off when a passenger is entering or exiting the machine
The reality is, farmers will continue to allow their children to ride in machinery, regardless of what the ‘fun police’ say! There is nothing positive about hiding this practice, let just make it as safe as possible.
I offer more detailed assistance to my members and clients.