12 August 1997
Farmers urged to take better care of children

THE Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has urged farmers to keep a watchful eye on children following the tragic death of three more children on farms during the early summer months.

Last year eight British children died as a result of farm accidents – the highest figure recorded in the industry for three years.

HSE head of agriculture Greg Bungay said: “I am shocked that the farming industry is yet again killing its young children. Every farmer knows that children are drawn to farms like metal to a magnet. The fact that three more youngsters have been killed is a disaster. Everyone must look again at the measures they use to protect children.”

Child deaths so far this year include:

  • A 14-year-old schoolboy on work experience who drowned in a partially filled grain bin which was being emptied;
  • A six-year-old boy who was run over by a tractor hauling hay bales out of a field at dusk;
  • A two-year-old girl who was run over by a digger-loader loading a trailer in a farmyard.

  • Sixty-four children died in accidents in the agricultural sector between 1986 and March 1997. The most common cause of death for children in agriculture over the past 11 years is being struck by a moving vehicle, closely followed by asphyxiation or drowning.