Farm animals represent one of the ‘inherent’ risks that all farm workers are exposed to due largely due to what can be assumed to be their unpredictable behaviour. Livestock are ‘prey animals’ and they can be unpredictable because people are improperly trained, impatient or complacent.
Livestock are unpredictable, especially during the joining (mating) season where they can be protective of their mates and their young. Often reverting to a fight or flight response when they perceive a threat, Livestock always need to be treated with caution.
Working children should be supervised at all times when working with animals.
Make sure yards, sheds and equipment are in good repair. The smooth flow of the animals through the yards is important. Self-latching gates are more preferable than chains so as to maintain visual contact with the animals. Children should be taught to not stand behind gates and to understand escape routes.
Workers need to be appropriately trained so as to be familiar with the temperament of the animals on your farm.
Working children should only be exposed to small farm animals (calves, lambs) until they can demonstrate competency and confidence in moving and handling animals.
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