Health & Safety - Child Safety of Farms
A recent press release from the Health and Safety Executive of Great Britain (“HSE GB”) has highlighted the tragic death of four year old Harry Lee following an accident on a farm in Lancashire.
On 8 July 2019, Harry’s Uncle had been driving a telescopic handler; as he turned into a field, Harry fell from the cab footplate where he had been positioned and was fatally injured under the wheels of the vehicle.
Children under the age of 13 are not permitted to ride on or operate agricultural machines and no one should ride of the footplate of such machines.
Harry’s Uncle, Brian Nutter, pleaded guilty to a breach of health and safety law and received a 26-week prison sentence (suspended for 18 months), a community order and costs of £5,154 were also imposed.
NI Support and Guidance
In Northern Ireland, HSENI and the Farm Safety Partnership seek to raise awareness of child safety on farms. There are helpful resources as part of the “Be Aware Kids” campaign which contains information for teachers, parents and children to use. In the section for parents there is a reminder to: “prevent all children under 13 years from riding on tractors and farm machinery”.
There is also an adult’s guide to “Avoid Harm on the Farm” which explains the hazards that children can encounter on a farm.It states that: “Being hit by, or run over by, farm machinery is the biggest single cause of children being killed on farms.”The leaflet also reminds of the dangers of quads and states that: “Only properly trained people, within the age range recommended, (minimum usually age 16 years), should be allowed to operate it”.
There is also an accessible children’s guide to “Avoid Harm on the Farm” to help explain some of the dangers to children.
*This information is for guidance purposes only and does not constitute, nor should be regarded, as a substitute for taking legal advice that is tailored to your circumstances.
 Prevention of Accidents to Children in Agriculture Regulations 1998
 Section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974