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RR420 - The demographics of children living and/or working on farms in Great Britain

Child Safety on farms is a priority for HSE and its social partners, including, Transport and General Workers Union (TGWU) & the National Farmers Unions (NFUs). A stakeholder seminar had identified the need to set up a 'child safety working group' under the auspices of the Agricultural Industry Advisory Board (AIAC). This study aimed to ascertain the extent and type of involvement that children (under 18 years old) have in agriculture within Great Britain. A postal questionnaire was designed and administered to 10,000 farms and horticultural units and a 12% response rate was secured.

Structural information collected allowed comparisons between farm type, size and total numbers working on farm. The study was able to broadly identify potential location of children on farm in regional areas and also in terms of farm type and size of farm.

Results shows that there are many more children working on the family farm than there are child casual employees or helpers. Children visiting farms are thought to be in significant numbers, the range of tasks they carry out is very limited as opposed to family farm children or casual child employees/helpers.

From the findings more in-depth research is recommended. The study generated significant interest within the agricultural community. Significant numbers of farmers said that they were willing to participate in further research

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Updated 2009-05-05