According to the Farm Safety Association Fact Sheet for Ontario, 20% of all deaths related to farm work involve children who are 15 years of age or younger. Out of those deaths, 60% involve a child who is under 5 years old. Child safety is of the utmost importance on Ontario farms. Since children are our most valuable resource, it’s up to us to make sure that they stay safe on Ontario farms. Here are some ways that you can keep children safe on your farm.
Teach, Model, and Enforce Safety Procedures at All Times
Children learn by repetition and by seeing what other people do. To keep children safe on your farm, teach them basic safety procedures with all tasks that they help you perform. Additionally, although you may think it’s okay to take shortcuts when you’re doing farm chores on your own, remember that there may be little eyes watching you. Always model safe farm procedures. It may take you a little longer, but it could mean the difference between life and death.
If you have farm workers, make sure that you enforce the use of safety procedures. Your children will see what other adults do on the farm. Children emulate behaviour of their peers and adults. Make sure that your helpers, regardless of age or size, always think and act in ways that are safety conscious.
Chemicals and Pesticides
In traditional homes, one solution for chemicals and pesticides is to put them out of the reach of the little ones. However, that’s not always the best solution on a farm where climbing around it is part of daily life. You definitely have to think a little differently when it comes to child safety on a farm. Your children should understand the dangers of chemicals and pesticides. Additionally, you can find a place that is off-limits for children. You may even consider a locked cabinet for storage along with a conversation about their dangers.
Keep Children Away from Dangerous Machinery
At some point, children who grow up on a farm may learn how to operate certain machinery in order to help out. However, this shouldn’t be done until the child is mature enough to understand and appreciate the dangers associated. Keep children away from dangerous machinery. Falling from a tractor may not seem dangerous, but it could result in the loss of life or limb. Flowing grain bins are also exceptionally dangerous for children. Children should always be supervised and they should never be allowed to use farm machinery on their own.
Proper Supervision at All Times
Children should be properly supervised at all times. Running a farm is a lot of hard work. It can take a lot of time and attention. However, the best way that children can be protected is to make sure that they are properly supervised at all times. Make sure that they know which areas are off-limits and that they’re not in them. Make sure that they’re not using farm equipment or machines on their own. Proper supervision is the best tool that you have to protect your children.
Was Your Child Hurt on a Farm in Ontario?
When a child is hurt, it devastates the entire family. The team of lawyers at Diamond and Diamond have experience handling child injury cases. Call our 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit our website to speak to someone now. We offer free consultations and case evaluations. Our law firm has 12 offices to serve clients throughout Ontario.