Farmers and crofters encouraged to make child safety a priority

Educational materials will help families talk about farm and croft safety.

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Farmers and crofters are being encouraged to make child safety a priority this year. SAC Consulting has produced a range of health and safety resources to make parents and children aware of the dangers on farms and crofts. The material, which has been produced on behalf of the Scottish Government’s Farm Advisory Service, includes three seasonal films on lambing, autumn livestock sales and winter, some colouring sheets and a list of frequently asked questions about farm safety for parents.

There are also a range of interactive videos to help children spot hazards around a farmyard and in a shed, to identify animal emotions,, and to understand the dangers relating to livestock and the rules to follow when encountering them. “It is a real challenge to balance the need to keep children safe while allowing them to take part in activities on the croft or farm – activities which often encourage future generations of farmers and crofters,” said agricultural consultant with SAC Consulting, Janette Sutherland. She encouraged farmers to make use of the resources and said: “Research has shown that getting children involved in identifying risks and thinking about safety is effective.”

The resources are available online at www.fas.scot/child-farm-safety The SAC Consulting resources come in the wake of repeated pleas from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for farmers, crofters and those working in the agricultural industry to make safety a priority. The safety agency issued an urgent plea to the farming industry in August last year after four fatal incidents occurred on British farms in a fortnight.

These included a man dying on an Angus farm due to an apparent fall from height, a three-year-old boy dying after a collision with a vehicle at a farm in south Wales, a crushing incident involving a ramp falling from a truck at a farm in Hampshire, and a man being found with fatal injuries surrounded by cattle at a field in Marshfield, South Gloucestershire.

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