Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Research: Farm safety for children in Sweden

I recently ran across an interesting article from Sweden examining the views of farmers about the health and safety risks faced by children. “Parents' Attitudes to Risk and Injury to Children and Young People on Farms” is an open-access publication so you can read the entire thing by clicking on the link.

Sweden has a graduated system of farm employment, which links the jobs children can do to their age. The analysis and conclusions of the study were interesting and, (I would guess) are broadly applicable to Canadian farms as well:
Most parents know the risks on their farm, but are sometimes careless when working under stress or exhaustion. Some parents wanted more information and some wanted compulsory preventative or safety measures by manufacturers, e.g. a safety belt as standard on the extra seat in tractors. Children’s friends were described as one of the greatest risks for injury due to peer pressure. Some parents mentioned that people who grow up on farms are sometimes ‘blind’ to the dangers. Other parents seemed to overlook the risks and had their children carrying out tasks for which they were not mentally or physically equipped. Some of the tasks the children reportedly carried out on farms contravened Swedish legislation.
-- Bob Barnetson

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