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Children safety (and transport)

Summary

A 3 years old child was run over by a tractor rolling a silage clamp. The child had been carried in various tractors over the period of the day but was let out of the tractor when they got to the silage clamp area. Even though various adults were available and watching, the child was allowed onto the clamp and was not supervised as three tractors rolled the freshly ensiled grass. As the boy's father reversed, he ran over the child causing crush injuries to the abdomen and ruptured blood vessels in his eyes. He was lucky to survive.

Action

The father was prosecuted under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 for putting his son's safety at risk on the clamp, and under the Prevention of Accidents to Children in Agriculture Regulations 1998 for carrying the child in the tractor earlier in the day. He was fined a total of £600.

Advice

No other industry allows children into the workplace, where they may be killed and injured. Riding in a tractor cab is illegal for a child under 13 years of age, and is never safe for other passengers unless they are in a properly designed and fitted passenger seat with a seat belt fitted and worn where appropriate. Putting children at risk by encouraging them to be near tractors at work leads to injury - possibly fatal - as shown in this case. Farmers can and must do more to protect children from the real dangers on farms.

2012-10-08