22 March 2022

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[1] 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[2] 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.

If you would like any further information or advice relating to health and safety law, please contact Ashleigh Birkett or Ben Johnston from the Health & Safety team at Carson McDowell LLP.

*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.

[1] Prevention of Accidents to Children in Agriculture Regulations 1998

[2] Section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974

About the author

Related Insights

All Insights