Take Measures To Protect Children Visiting Farms – Farm Safety Week

Farms and crofts can be fantastic places for children to grow up on and visit, but they can often be dangerous.

On day two of Farm Safety Week – which takes please from 16 to 20 July – RHET speaks about the importance of getting children on farm to find out where their food comes from and with the right planning and precautions they can be safe, fun and, above all, educational places.

This year’s Farm Safety Week focusses on not just physical safety, but also the importance of mental health and wellbeing too with the slogan Your Health. Your Safety. Your Choice. Throughout this week we hear from farmers and organisations about accidents they have had on farm, as well as what they have done to change practices.

Carole Brunton, RHET Fife CI Project Coordinator and local farmer, is in charge of organising farm visits throughout Fife, making sure that the farms, teachers and children are all ready for a fun, safe and educational experience. Her top tip for having children on farm? Common sense and plenty of planning.

Carole said: “For us, farm safety is extremely important. For the children’s safety, for the farmer’s reputation, and for RHET because if we had one accident on one farm it would stop all farm visits. We don’t want that to happen, so we have a strict regime.
We have a risk assessment process that we go through which we do with the farmer before the children are anywhere near the farm. Then we do a pre-visit with the teacher. We go out with the teacher and the farmer and we do a pre-visit so that everyone knows what’s going to happen on the day when the children arrive.
“On the day of the visit the farmer will make sure there’s no dangerous machinery sitting out, for example, or there’s not a hole being dug near to where we’ll be. We work closely with the host to make the site as safe as possible.
“I would say common sense and supervision are the main things for any farm visit. We don’t want to make it all rules and regulations, so they can’t enjoy themselves. But there must be an element of control. We do tend to let them enjoy themselves and have a bit of fun because that’s the best way for them to learn.
“We have a plan for every visit before we turn up, we have a plan of what we are going to do and where we’re going to take them. Before leaving the farm they wash their hands with antibacterial soap, running water and paper towels, so there’s no contamination. Then they all walk through a foot dip before they leave.”

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