HSE urges training for ATV drivers

Following Ozzy Osbourne quad bike accident the Health and Safety Executive says the key to safe use of the vehicles is training.

uad bikes can be a danger for all users — not just celebrities — the Health and Safety Executive and manufacturers of the vehicles have warned. Following the rock star Ozzy Osbourne’s quad bike accident last week, and comedian Rik Mayall’s life-threatening accident in 1998, the HSE says the key to safe use of the vehicles is training. An HSE representative said that from March 2001 to March 2002, there was one death and 11 injuries from all terrain vehicle accidents, but in the following 12 months two people died and injuries more than doubled to 23. ATVs, or quad bikes, do not come under the regulations of the Road Traffic Act, which means that no special licence is needed to ride one. However, under the Personal Protection Equipment at Work regulations of 1992, employers are required to provide protective clothing and headgear for anyone using an ATV. Honda (UK) general manager Martin Sanders said: “About 90 per cent of the ATVs sold in the UK are destined for use in agricultural applications. “ATVs are not toys and in the same way that you would not drive a car or ride a motorcycle without first being trained to do so, you cannot expect to get on to an ATV and ride confidently without being aware of the machine’s, and your own, limitations. ATV riding experience is all well and good, but there are two things that are essential to ensure rider safety: training and the correct protective clothing.”  Go to the HSE’s web site at www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/ais33.pdf for information on safe use of ATVs

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