Children need special attention
Farm children live in a workplace that exposes them to heavy machinery, dangerous chemicals, livestock, and numerous other hazards. Injuries involving children can be prevented through attention to details, and a sound understanding of fundamental safety principals.
The best way to keep children safe is to have a designated play area in your farmyard. Too often, the entire farm is considered a safe place to play by both children and parents. By limiting your children’s play area to a specific location, you greatly increase the safety zone and decrease their exposure to farm dangers.
Children often repeat the actions of what they see, and farmers and their workers should always consider the safe choices when working. Setting a good example can make a life or death difference.
Educate children on the basics of safety, such as which areas of the farm are off-limits, and what equipment they should stay away from. As kids get older, they can learn why certain things are dangerous, and get proper training. Safety has to be explained and always enforced.
More children are killed or injured on the farm due to machinery than any other cause. Many of these tragedies occur when an operator starts a machine without knowing a child is in the area. In others, the neglect is more obvious, for example, when a child falls from a tractor. Never let children ride on farm tractors, and make sure that children are well away from the work area.
Farm chemicals can be quite dangerous. Store the chemicals in a cabinet, room or building that can be locked in their original containers, and properly labeled. If children get their hands on them, the results are often tragic. Never throw chemical containers or small leftover amounts in the garbage or otherwise accessible to children. Properly dispose of them according to environmental requirements.
Buildings and other Structures
Poor design or disrepair of a building can lead to serious consequences. Make sure that objects and equipment are tightly secured to the wall, or out of reach of small children. Don’t leave dangerous equipment laying around for children to play on.
Even good-tempered animals may become dangerous. The quietest animal can become dangerous if it or its offspring feel threatened. Keep children away from animals, especially in livestock-handling areas.
A number of children and adults have suffocated as a result of entrapment by flowing grain in bins, and can drag an unsuspecting victim down like quicksand. All work areas should be off-limits to children. If you must enter a grain bin, take the following precautions: