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Farm Safety For The Holidays

23 December 2004 PR 234/04
Farm Safety For The Holidays

Farms are great places to spend the holidays but first and foremost they are a workplace, said Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc) Vice President Charlie Pedersen.

“Parents and guardians need to take particular care with children who may be unaware of the dangers on farms.

“Waterbodies such as creeks, rivers, ponds, dams and troughs are a normal and essential part of the farming environment. But to the young and inexperienced they present a potential danger.

“Children can drown very quickly and emergency services are unlikely to be in time – so extra care is required. Children must be supervised and special care taken with young children and with those inexperiencec in the water,” said Mr Pedersen.

“Livestock electric fences are also a potential danger – these fences can kill. While the deaths associated with livestock electric fences are very low it is very important that farm visitors recognise that contact with an electric fence can result in tragedy.

“Federated Farmers strongly recommends against climbing through or under an electric fence due to the increased danger of a shock to the head rendering a person unconscious.

To the uninitiated, the attractions of the farm can be extremely dangerous. Kids love riding on tractors, farm bikes and horses but often do not have the skills or the strength to control them.

“Federated Farmers supports the recommendation that children under 15 should not operate a farm sized All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) and to avoid carrying passengers. If it is necessary to carry a passenger then the person in control of the ATV should be an experienced adult and extra care should be taken to counter the extra risks involved.

“Farmers are strongly encouraged to ensure all riders wear protective equipment, particularly a helmet during any riding of ATVs or horses.

“Federated Farmers wants all invited farm visitors’ experience of rural New Zealand to be an enjoyable and rewarding one and for them to return home safe and sound, so please be careful over the holidays,” Mr Pedersen concluded.

ENDS

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