Farm safety needs to be a focus

Farm safety needs to be a focus

Opinion
Farms are a great place for children to play and explore, but it can also be dangerous with many hazards.

Farms are a great place for children to play and explore, but it can also be dangerous with many hazards.

Aa

Farm safety needs to be a focus

Aa

AS a small child, I played on the family farm with my siblings and cousins.

Safety wasn't considered much back then and we often got into a bit of mischief.

Spending time together with my family is really important to me.

I grew up in the Merredin area.

Both sides of my family are still heavily involved in the ag industry.

Through my role as a cadet with SafeFarms WA, I am tasked with helping to develop tools and share important positive messages about safety on farms.

I feel that positive messages are really important though sadly, we often only hear about the tragedies.

The statistics show that accidents are generally preventable and one death is one too many.

In rural communities the community is everything - including sport right through to ambulance and emergency service volunteers.

There is an old saying - that we go through life with only six degrees of separation, however in rural WA, it often seems to be down to two degrees of separation.

The sad reality is that often those volunteers are attending the accidents to pick up the pieces of community members.

A farming lifestyle gives children who live on farms a happy and healthy environment to develop in.

A farm is a place where families live and work.

While a farm can seem like a cool place to play and explore, it can also be dangerous for children.

Speaking from my own experiences, a child's perception about a situation is different to an adult's, making them more likely to get themselves into trouble on the farm.

Children living on and visiting farms generally want to spend as much time as they can outdoors and often want to push the boundaries, explore and try new things.

Constant supervision of children can be challenging - a farm is both home and a working business.

Kids don't always do as they are told.

It's really important that you teach your child a few safety tips so that they know the potential hazards and risks on a farm.

I feel lucky that my family let us explore and try new things, but they also gave us boundaries so we knew we would be in trouble if we overstepped the line.

A few tips parents can share with their children and their friends:

If supervising, create a safe play area for children that is fenced off.

Work areas should be out of bounds unless accompanied by an adult.

Make sure children wear the correct personal protection equipment when riding wheeled devices and horses.

Encourage children how to respect animals and learn how to safely interact with them.

Stay away from farm machinery and vehicles.

Safety starts with the adult.

Children learn by imitation, if you value and practice farm safety, so will your child.

Be safe these school holidays.

Aa

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