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Keep Safe Over The Holidays

22 December 2006

Keep Safe Over The Holidays

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

“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 inexperienced 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.

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

“Federated Farmers insists that children under the age of 15 should not operate an adult sized all-terrain vehicle (ATV) and should never carry passengers. If it is necessary to carry a passenger then the rider 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 the New Zealand designed ATV helmet during any riding of ATVs or a horse helmet when riding horses.

“If you are wondering what to buy your spouse for Christmas, an ATV helmet would be a great present.

“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,” concluded Mr Pedersen.


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