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Take Care of Kids on farms over the Holidays

Take Care of Kids on farms over the Holidays

Farms are fun places for kids to spend their holidays but we cannot forget they are a workplace, says Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc) Vice President Charlie Pedersen.

Mr Pedersen said "farmers are aware of the dangers on farm and develop safe work practices to minimise the risk. But 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 size to control them effectively.

"The Agricultural Industry Focus Group of which Federated Farmers is a members has developed and Agricultural Industry Guidelines - the Safe use of ATVs on New Zealand Farms. This Safety Guideline recommends that children under 15 should not operate a farm ATV and that carrying passengers should be avoided unless extra precautions are taken to minimise risks.

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

"Parents also need to be aware that employed youths under the age of 15 years are not allowed to drive a tractor or ride on a tractor (unless it has a dedicated passenger seat) while it is towing an implement. An exemption exists for youths, who are not employees over the age of 12 years, provided they are fully trained or are being trained.

"It is up to us as farm managers; to take responsibility to protect children from the dangers on farm. Young children and machinery don't mix."

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