Having always expressed an interest in the safety of children in general, Catherine Hardiman established Farm Hero, a new unique approach to farm safety, after hearing the unfortunate, devastating involvements of children in farm accidents.
Dublin based mother Catherine, part-time employee of CSS Signs, property of Nathy McIntyre, created the ‘Farm Hero’ character, as an individual living on a family farm, with a passion for exploring the farm from a very young age, like most children do.
Catherine tried to make the figure as realistic as possible. The character tells the story of being a farming enthusiast from a very tender age, with a great love of the outdoors- exploring the farm alone, looking for an adventure. Farm Hero recognised the farm as a big playground; climbing on bales, going into the animals and playing near water.
The character tells the story of one day in particular when he was playing on the farm, climbing near a barrel of water when his foot slipped. He managed to jump away from the barrel and land on the ground. A drowning could have occurred. From this day, the character gained a special power of Laser Vision, which he uses to raise awareness around the topic of farm safety.
The idea for Farm Hero was devised, when producing farm safety signs for customers at CSS Signs, Catherine had heard of a number of accidents and deaths on farms involving children. From her experience as a mother, she saw how quickly children learn. She got to work with company owner, Nathy McIntyre, who established the business in 2001 and comes from an Agricultural background.
‘Children are like sponges and soak up all you can teach them. So using the Farm Hero character we created the farm safety signs using the HSA approved ISO safety symbols and colours to appeal to and engage children. The signs are bright and colourful and should be situated at eye level so children can see them around the farm and remember the message they indicate.’ Catherine said.
‘The Farm Hero is a character created to appeal to children while teaching them about farm safety. Children like heroes and superheroes. They like dressing up as heroes, my son does anyway.
The Farm Hero has a story of how he nearly had a drowning accident on his farm as a child. After he fell, he got a special power of laser vision, where he could see dangers on the farm for children and he set about teaching other children how to stay safe on the farm and be a Farm Hero!’ She added.
They also designed the Farm Hero Safety poster which goes in to more detail about each of the farm safety signs. It also has an index to explain the meaning of the shapes and colours that appear on safety signs in general and it has a guide for parents to create and maintain a safe play area.
‘We see a lot of safety signs all around us in our daily lives, that are there for good reasons. But do we teach children what the colours and symbols mean? For farming communities who live and work on farms this teaching and understanding is essential. This idea is appealing to children and making this learning process easy and inspirational, to be a Farm Hero.’ Catherine explained.
She continued ‘I feel passionate about safety in general for children. We have a responsibility to teach them about safety in all areas of life. The number of accidents and deaths in farming is unacceptably high in Ireland and it has had such tragic consequences for many children and families and communities. We feel education through children is a key element in tackling the problem. Children are great learners and love fun, so let’s making learning fun!’
‘We would like to see an agricultural or educational body engage with this idea of farm safety signs for children and distribute the poster to farming families around the country. We are grateful to ThatsFarming.com for helping us get this message out to the farming community.’
Farm Hero Safety signs are available to purchase in a wide range of sizes and materials, as well as the Farm Hero safety poster, and Farm Hero stickers. Orders can made online www.FarmHero.ie, or call 01 4586084, with nationwide delivery.
Phone: 01 4586084
Address: Unit P21 Greenogue Business Park, Rathcoole, Co Dublin.