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
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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