Another ATV death and prosecution

28 June 2016

HSE has reported the sad death of another agricultural worker involving an overturned ATV.  This occurred in Devon on 25 May and follows soon after RIG posted information on the previous incident involving an ATV (in Scotland, on 31 March 2016). There are no known media reports available to provide further details on this latest incident. [Please let us know if you see anything.]

Wear helmets on quad bikes, pleads farm safety chief 

Rick Brunt, Head of HSE’s Agriculture, Waste and Recycling Sector has also recently urged farmers not to ignore simple life-saving advice to wear helmets when riding quad bikes.  His call comes after details of another horrific incident, in which a teenager suffered a serious head wound, emerged in court proceedings.

The farm worker, aged 17, from Shap, Cumbria, was trapped underneath an overturned quad bike for an hour with a wound that later needed 17 stiches. Carlisle Magistrates’ Court heard (on 20 June) that family partnership JF & M Bland of Dacre, Penrith, had contracted the worker for general agricultural duties and he was instructed to use the firm’s quad bike to get to a large sloping field, in April 2014.

He did so, without any training, and with no helmet provided for him to wear. The vehicle overturned and it was an hour before one of the partners of the company found him.

The company pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 9(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. It was fined £6,000 and ordered to pay costs of £4,693.

In response, Rick Brunt said: “Vehicle-related accidents are a significant problem in agriculture and one of the biggest killers. Only people who are trained and capable should operate all-terrain vehicles, like quad bikes. Every year, on average, we see two deaths and numerous injuries involving ATVs.”

HSE inspector Matthew Tinsley, who investigated and prosecuted for HSE, said: “This is a reminder to all farmers and farm workers that it just isn’t worth taking unnecessary risk. Training is vital, as is head protection. This is simple, common sense advice that, if followed, can save lives.”

See HSE’s Information Sheet on ATV safety. Further guidance and other information relating to initiatives promoting safe use of ATVs were given in RIG's report on the previous incident involving an ATV.