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Holidays Potentially Deadly for Kids on Farms


17 April 2003 PR57/2003

School Holidays Potentially Deadly for Kids on Farms

Farms are great places to spend the school holidays but they are primarily a place of work, says Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc) Vice President Charlie Pedersen.

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

"Federated Farmers is a member of Agricultural Health and Safety Council which has developed a guide for the Safe Use of ATVs on New Zealand Farms. This Guide recommends that children under 15 should not operate a farm ATV and that carrying passengers should be avoided.

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

"For years farmers have commented that road motorcycle helmets were not suitable for on farm use.

"In response to these comments a world first NZ Standard was developed for an ATV helmet, developed with funding support from ACC and in consultation with the Agricultural Health and Safety Council. Two ATV helmets are now available commercially - produced by Pacific Helmets in Wanganui and Ferrentino's in Waihi.

"The provision of ATV helmets is aimed at reducing deaths and head injuries from ATV accidents, which account for a third of accidental deaths on farms.

"Kids and machinery don't mix. It is up to all farm managers to ensure the safety of visitors to their property - especially over the Easter holiday break."

ENDS

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