ATVs – Safety at public events
Jake Vowles, the Director General of the Agricultural Engineers Association, has written to event and show organisers on behalf of the manufacturers and importers of ATVs and Quadricycles. He is seeking support to ensure that these machines are used safely at public events. This will help to reduce the risk of injuries as well as demonstrating good practice to users and the general public alike. Local authorities are usually the enforcing authority at such events.
In his letter, Mr Vowles observes that exhibitors and show/site staff too often do not follow appropriate safety procedures. Examples of bad practice noted at major shows over the past few weeks include:
- Show staff using an ATV to collect rubbish at an event without the driver wearing appropriate protective clothing.
- An ATV exiting an event, through departing visitors, without appropriate protective clothing.
- Utility machines being delivered to a stand during build-up by under-age drivers, without appropriate protective clothing and carrying passengers.
- People being carried in a trailer towed by an ATV.
- A policeman wearing a uniform cap rather than a safety helmet on a showground.
The industry is committed to encouraging safe use of ATVs which play an important role in our industry as well as providing enjoyment to many as leisure machines.
Endorsing the campaign, Alan Plom, Head of HSE’s Agriculture and Food Sector’s Safety Section says:
'ATVs are widely used, not just in activities related to agriculture, but also in the amenity, sports and leisure sector. HSE supports fully OPEC’s (Outdoor Powered Equipment Council’s) objective of reducing the risks to ATV riders. Many years experience of investigating ATV accidents has proven that if one thing is absolutely vital when riding an ATV, it is the wearing of suitable head protection. The majority of fatal accidents involving ATV riders result from head injuries, but no one in the UK has ever been killed when wearing a safety helmet.'
Please ensure that all drivers are wearing a fastened safety helmet and wearing goggles at all times when the engine is running, never carry passengers and meet the minimum age requirements as laid down in the Operators Manual. All operators should also be suitably trained.