The importance of wearing helmets while using quadbikes, and other ATVs, has been stressed by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) following the prosecution of a business after a serious incident in Cumbria.
A 17-year-old farmworker, who wasn’t wearing a helmet, was trapped underneath a quad bike for an hour after the vehicle overturned in an incident in April 2014.
Family partnership, JF & M Bland, had employed the worker for general farm duties and had instructed him to use the vehicle to get to a large steep sloped field.
No training was given, no helmet was supplied and, as a result of the vehicle over turning, the individual received a serious head wound, which required 17 stitches.
The HSE prosecuted JF & M Bland, of Dacre, Penrith, for breaching health and safety laws.
The business pleaded guilty and a fine of £6,000 was incurred. The firm was also ordered to pay £4,693 in costs.
Every year, on average, we see two deaths and numerous injuries involving ATVs Rick Brunt, HSE
Head of agriculture at the HSE, Rick Brunt, commented: “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.”
Matthew Tinsley, HSE inspector who investigated and prosecuted for the HSE in the Cumbria case, warned: “This is a reminder to all farmers and farmworkers 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.”