According to the 2019 Childhood Agricultural Injuries Fact Sheet compiled by the National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety, every three days, a child dies in an agricultural-related incident, and each day, 33 children are injured.
A priority for farmers and workers is to keep children safe on the farm. Take time to talk about the dangers and take steps now to ensure your kids, their friends or other young visitors are safe. Here are a few active steps to help you create a safe farm.
- Are young children kept out of the work site while parents work?
- Do adults know to never take young children on machinery (tractors, skid steers, ATVs, etc.), including not giving them rides in buckets, instructional seats or on laps. This means NO EXTRA RIDERS.
- Are keys removed from all equipment when not in use, hydraulics disengaged/de-energized, and all equipment stored in lowest position?
- Is all equipment, especially those with sharp edges (plows, hay mowers, etc.), stored in areas not accessible to young children?
- Are children kept away from grain wagons, grain bins, silos, manure pits and other confined spaces or flowing grain hazards?
- Are all chemicals, pesticides and hazardous substances stored in locked storage areas not accessible to children?
- Are large objects that could fall and harm children stored safely and put in areas not accessible to young children (e.g. tires or gates not left leaning against walls)?
- Are drowning hazards addressed (fences around ponds/manure pits, wells covered, ditches filled in, etc.)?
- Do young children have a designated safe play area, separated from the farm worksite by a barrier(e.g. fence)?
- Does an adult/older youth supervise young, non-working children?
You and/or your employee(s) can download and print a pdf checklist to complete safety checks on your farm. Keep the completed forms for follow-up, future reference and inspections.