Farmworkers' union attacks lack of protection for children on farms
The T&G general union, the largest trade union representing agriculture workers, has condemned the continued failure to outlaw children under 16 driving tractors on farms.
Earlier this month the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) revealed the latest annual death toll figure of 41 on Britain's farms - the joint lowest figure since records began. One of the deaths was of a 14-year-old on a work placement scheme killed when the farm vehicle he was driving overturned.
Despite a 30-year long campaign by the T&G to protect children from the dangers of modern farming, the a decision on a ban on children driving tractors has been delayed, according to the T&G, because of opposition from the NFU farmers' union.
Barry Leathwood, T&G national secretary said, "The reduction in deaths on farms is welcome, yet the scandal of lack of protection for children on farms goes on. Every year children are killed and injured on British farms and that will go on unchecked until agriculture is brought into line with every other industry in the developed world and children are banned from driving or operating agricultural machinery, and prevented from gaining access to hazardous areas. The National Farmers Union who are blocking the ban should be ashamed. The NFU are clearly not representative of the thousands of decent farmers who do care about children's lives."