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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 100

Date:- 24 May 2003

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Report with thanks to HSE.

THE trivial issue of a dealing with a leaking oil seal on a John Deere tractor left a 13-year-old child fighting for his life and a fraught father making an emergency 999 call from a mobile phone in a field.

Two years later on and Adam Brown, 15, was the special guest of the launch at the of a new Health and Safety Executive (HSE) video 'Safe! - Helping

children to stay safe on farms' which was filmed where the accident happened at his home at Orchard Farm in Holmes Chapel, Cheshire.

The video was launched at the Sandwell Park Farm at Salters Lane, West Bromwich. in the West Midlands and children from St Mary Magdalen school were among the first to see the video before they made a visit around the farm.

Adam, who has made a full recovery, spent ten days at Leighton Hospital, near Crewe, after suffering cracked ribs and pelvis, a punctured lung and cuts and bruises in the accident that occurred on 28 June 2001.

His father, Farmer Ray Brown, explained:- "The oil leak meant that I had to get a dumper truck and tow the tractor back to the farm. Adam always wanted to help so as I towed the tractor back to the farm he was sitting on the wheel arch of the dumper. 

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There was no problem until I had to change gear on a slight incline. This caused the chain to slacken and as I revved to build back up to speed, the jolt threw Adam forward and he fell under the wheels.

I was totally distraught and ended up actually lifting the three tonne vehicle off my son and then had the stress of trying to cope with waiting for the emergency services to arrive. He was in intensive care but frankly I am just thankful he survived and I welcomed them using my farm to make
sure others don't have to suffer the same as my family."

The video uses children actors called Josh, Tanya and Alex to point out the hazards on sites which other children see as playgrounds or "home." The other character is the farm hand, Jock, who represents the responsible adult and tells the children if they do anything wrong.

HSE's Chief Inspector of Agriculture Linda Williams said:- "It seems the most natural thing in the world to give your son a lift across private land without making sure they are wearing a safety belt but it can have devastating consequences. No parent wants to deal with a child in hospital when a visit or life on a farm goes wrong. We hope that using children to explain some of the very simple things which can cause an accident will help teachers and parents to encourage a discussion of aspects which will keep kids safe on planned visits or just while they are out enjoying the countryside."

Special arrangements have been made to supply copies of the video to all Local Authority education departments. Copies of 'Safe! - Helping children  to stay safe on farms' price £25.00 + VAT, stock code 0 7176 are also available for purchase from HSE Books, PO Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk, CO10 2WA, tel:- 01787 881165 or fax:- 01787 313995.


Southport Reporter is a registered Trade Mark.   Copyright © Patrick Trollope 2003.