Published onDecember 3 2021
Appropriate personal protection equipment (PPE) and mandatory training is now required for those using All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) for work in the Republic of Ireland, following the arrival of new legislation.
The new Safety, Health and Welfare at Work regulations, which came into effect on 24 November, have been introduced in a bid to reduce the number of injuries and fatalities linked with the vehicles - as advised by the Farm Safety Task Force.
Unfortunately, many ATVs are used carelessly or without prior training and even the most experienced riders can find themselves in a potentially dangerous situation. By undertaking training, it is anticipated that contributory causes of accidents can be reduced or avoided.
Minister for Business, Employment and Retail, Damien English TD, signed the statutory instrument which introduces an obligation on the users of all ATVs to undergo mandatory training and to wear appropriate PPE when using these vehicles for work purposes.
The Minister commented:
"In recent years, there has been a number of accidents in farming and other areas of work involving the use of ATVs. The number and severity of these incidents has given rise to serious safety concerns, particularly across the farming community. The overall objective of these amending Regulations is to reduce the level of death and serious injury associated with ATVs in the workplace by providing specific legal requirements for the wearing of head protection and for operators of ATVs to undergo professional training.
"Over a ten-year period (2009-2018) tractors, ATVs and other vehicles represent 30% of workplace fatalities in the agriculture sector, with ATV fatalities showing a significant increase in recent years, with 11 fatalities attributed to their operation. Investigations into the causes of these accidents by the Health and Safety Authority have shown that many cases are caused by the lack of training and head protection.
Lantra offers a range of high-quality training courses, delivered across Ireland, which provide the essential knowledge and skills required to operate an ATV, covering Sit-Astride, Sit-In and Sit-In Skid Steer.
These practical training courses cover the key fundamentals of driving, loading, health and safety and complying with legal requirements.
For more details of this change in legislation, please refer to the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) (Amendment) (No.2) Regulations 2021 (S.I. No. 619 of 2021).