Farm Ireland

Thursday 22 March 2018

‘How do I educate my kids about tractor safety if they’re not in the cab with me?’

Margaret Donnelly

Margaret Donnelly

Maker of controversial video of kids in a tractor says it’s essential that young children are educated about farm safety.

A video to highlight safe farming practices, which featured two young children in a tractor with their father, has gained huge traction online.

John McClean, the man behind FarmTV, who made the video said he had received only one negative comment about the video.

“There is a fear out there in the farming community about the response to kids on farms and talking about safety. I was curious to see what the reaction would be. The reaction was awesome from the farming community – they loved the video.”

According to John it’s essential for the discussion of farm safety to extend to children and he says that educating children about farm safety should involve them on the farm.

“I don’t want my kids to get to the age of 18 and keep them wrapped up in bubblewrap and in the house….I want to get them involved at a young age and I chose to stick my head above the waterline.

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“As a father I do think about my children’s safety and I know it’s not safe to leave them in a field and ultimately not supervising them would lead to an accident.

“How do I educate my kids about tractor safety if they’re not in the cab with me?” There are people, he said, who just think point blank that kids should never be in a cab, but I think in a safety cab, in certain types of work and environment its good for kids to learn and grow up in the environment and be safe in the cab rather than stand and spectate. Kids want to be part of it and I want them right beside me in the safety cab.

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He also said that judgement calls are what keeps people safe on farms. “It’s a judgement call of people on the ground that makes things safe. It’s not the law that makes it safe, it’s the judgement call of people there on the day.”

John was accused of acting in an unsafe manner, by having the children in the tractor cab, but refutes this saying what he did was not illegal or unsafe. “We were not doing any agriculture work, it was a controlled safety situation.”

He also said that the issue of seatbelts in tractors needs to be addressed as people might question why the children are not wearing seat belts.

His two children, he said, are not wearing seat belts because it’s an older tractor cab that isn’t fitted with seat belts.  

“There should be a simple solution to retrofit seatbelts to older tractors and less ambiguity around the law.

“When we shot our video, we made the judgement call that it was perfectly safe. Top speed of 40km/hr is not exactly high speed and my kids were not in the cab (when the tractor hit those speeds).”

Next up up in reply to the Belfast Telegraph is John McClean, who makes a few editorial corrections. In case you missed...

Posted by Farmflix on Wednesday, November 2, 2016

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