Dangers of ATVs
Yesterday’s tragic accident involving an ATV again highlights the dangers associated with these four-wheeled bikes, says the Occupational Safety and Health Service of the Department of Labour.
A father and his four-year-old son were killed on Monday after their ATV pulling a trailer loaded with hay slid down a bank and rolled on top of them. This week’s accident follows a similar incident in March where a two-year-old child, also a passenger on an ATV, was killed when the ATV rolled.
OSH acting general manger Geoff Wilson said the dangers inherent in ATVs were well known to OSH, and should be well known to farmers.
"ATVs are the number one killer of farm workers and their families.
"While an ATV is a valuable workhorse in farming operations, everyone associated with their use must realise the potential dangers involved in their use."
The deaths bring the number of farm fatalities investigated by OSH since July 1 1999 to 17 - five of the deaths involved ATVs. In the previous business year OSH investigated seven accidents where people were killed on farms while riding ATVs.
Mr Wilson said the safe operation of ATVs was one of the key areas being highlighted in OSH’s national strategy in agriculture currently being implemented around the country over a five-year period.
A key aspect of the strategy is providing farmers with the new resource kit that identifies the critical factors to be considered before commencing high-risk work activities which includes the use of ATVs.
The critical factors for assessment when using ATVs include the skill level of the rider, the ATVs limitations, towing an implement, environmental conditions, sloping terrain, vehicle maintenance, and the carrying of passengers.
These factors need to be assessed to result in safe operation.
OSH is aware that farms are different from other workplaces. A farm is both a working environment and a home, and children are often involved in work-related activities on farms. In such situations parents need to be ever vigilant, Mr Wilson said.
Tyler Wright contributes and publishes news editorial to http://www.all-motorcycle-helmets.com.
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