The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland and NI Farm Safety Partnership recently launched their 2021 child safety poster competition and, now half way through the competition and half way through Farm Safety Week, we are actively encouraging NI primary aged schoolchildren to get involved! The competition is for children to draw and colour a picture to illustrate a farm safety message and use their voice to remind parents and family members of the risks involved in farming, or indeed living near a farm and coming into contact with machinery, animals and slurry storage facilities.
This competition has been running successfully for a number of years now, but unfortunately this year due to the unprecedented circumstances, HSENI staff were unable to visit rural primary schools in the run up to the summer holidays to deliver their farm safety messages and encourage pupils to enter the poster competition.
According to the Chief Executive of the HSENI, Robert Kidd; “Child safety on farms remains a strategic key focus for HSENI and the Farm Safety Partnership. This competition is a great way for pupils across Northern Ireland to engage and think about the daily dangers in and around a farmyard, and for parents to think about the steps they can take to ensure that their children stay safe on the farm.
“Drawing is a great distraction for children during these trying times. At a time when more children are spending more time on farm, the competition acts as an important reminder for parents and children alike that farms are not playgrounds and farming is the only workplace where children continue to lose their lives. Children want to explore and participate in all aspects of farm life as they grow up around animals and machinery. Parents must ensure that children understand the risks that children could be exposed to.”
So whether students are at school or home, they can still enter the competition by drawing or painting a picture based on four key dangers on the farm:
• Dangers from slurry
• Dangers from farm animals
• Dangers from tractors and other farm machinery
• Dangers from falls and falling objects
The theme for each week is announced every Monday on HSENI’s Facebook page and on their website www.hseni.gov.uk