Two Carrick-on-Shannon Community School students are behind a farm safety initiative seeking to engage children and farmers to identify the hazards present on farms.

Grace McKeon from Drumshanbo and Jane Carty from Boyle have produced a series of farm safety activity sheets for children.

The project will seek to engage farmers and children in a dialogue on farm safety and improve children’s knowledge of safe farming practices.

Increase awareness

“Our main goal for the project was to increase young people’s awareness of farm health and safety,” said Jane.

"We also want to encourage conversations between farmers and children on the topic of farm safety."

The first part of the project consists of a farm safety sheet, on which children of all ages are encouraged to draw an aerial view of a farm and identify possible safety hazards using a colour-coded traffic light system to mark areas of a farm.

Children must assess whether an area is safe to enter, unsafe or if they must be accompanied by an adult around a particular farm safety risk.

The safety worksheet initiative was piloted successfully with the first class pupils of Carrick Primary School, with the students due to launch a nationwide competition for completed sheets on Farm Safety Week from 19 to 23 July.

Emergency contact sheet

The second element of the initiative consists of a farm emergency contact sheet.

The page encourages farmers to complete a list of local contacts, for quick and easy access, in the case of a farm safety incident.

Students Jane Carty and Grace McKeon pictured with Carrick-on-Shannon community school teacher Louise Gallagher who helped the students complete the project.

The students were inspired to complete this sheet after learning of the tragic farm fatality of a young person operating machinery a few years ago.

The young person’s family unfortunately found difficulty in contacting neighbours to seek help after being made aware of the accident.

Project experience

The students said that they had both improved their farm safety skills over the course of the project.

“We learned plenty about farm safety over the project. The entire project was a hugely beneficial experience to have been involved in,” said Grace.

“We were intrigued to try a project on farm safety out. We are both from farm background and wanted to learn more about safety,” added Jane.

The competition sheets will be available from local Aurivo Homeland stores, with age categories for all children.

The two students encourage as many children as possible to take part in the competition.