Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland farm safety warning over child deaths

Tractor fallen into ditch Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Many of the fatal accidents involve farm machinery

Since the year 2000, 11 children have lost their lives due to work related accidents on Northern Ireland farms.

The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) revealed the figure as it urged farmers to keep children safe on farms.

It says summer is a particularly dangerous time for a child on a farm.

That is due to a combination of children being off school and farms themselves being very busy.

HSENI has run the 'Be Aware Kids Child Safety on Farms' education and outreach programme, which includes school visits throughout Northern Ireland, since 1999.

HSENI staff have visited more than 75 schools since Easter with over 10,750 children attending the presentations.

Talk about safety

HSENI chief executive Robert Kidd says it's an important issue to raise.

"It is simply unthinkable to lose a child or have them seriously injured in a farming incident.

"Please talk about safety as a family and put in place simple, practical, measures to make sure your children are safe at all times," he added.

The president of the Ulster Farmers Union (UFU), Ivor Ferguson, said that fparents should think about preventative measures to protect children on farms.

"These measures include providing children with a securely fenced off play area, ensuring unattended vehicles are kept locked, and discouraging children from using bales of any description for playing," Mr Ferguson said.

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