Wear a helmet, HSE warns quad bike users
The Health and Safety Executive has issued a warning to users of ATVs (All Terrain Vehicles or quad bikes), particularly agricultural and forestry workers, to ensure they are wearing the appropriate head protection and have received sufficient training on the safe operation of ATVs. These measures can save lives.
The warning follows the conviction of a Forfar company, A.M. Phillip Ltd, which was fined £12,500 at Aberdeen Sheriff Court on 14 March following the death of one of their employees at their Huntly depot in May last year.
Charles Fraser, 32, an agricultural mechanic, was fatally injured when he fell, or was thrown, from an ATV which he was testing after repair. Mr Fraser had not been provided with any head protection by his employer, and A.M. Phillip Ltd had not undertaken a suitable and sufficient risk assessment associated with the test-driving of ATVs.
The company pleaded guilty and was fined for contravening the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, Section 2(1), in that it failed to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the safety of one of its employees while at work.
The firm had failed to provide protective headgear, a legal requirement under the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992. It had also not carried out a risk assessment for test-driving following repairs, a contravention of Regulation 3(1) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. Similar legal requirements are placed on the self-employed.
HSE investigating inspector Douglas Conner said after the case:
"This was a tragic fatality which unfortunately highlights the kind of accident that can happen to riders of ATVs who have not been trained and are not wearing suitable head protection. A motor cycle helmet complying with BS 6658 and BS 4110 is recommended and professional training is essential.
"Head protection is vital. More than half of all ATV riders have been thrown off at some time, and 22% of serious accidents involved head injuries. In the 10 years prior to 1999, 17 ATV accidents resulted in fatal injuries."
Terry Bilt contributes and publishes news editorial to http://www.all-motorcycle-helmets.com.
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