It is extremely important that employers ensure all their employees receive sufficient training on any vehicle they are required to drive for work purposes. This will help avoid potential costly prosecutions against your business in the event of an accident.
A recent case involved a family partnership, who had employed a 17 year old farm-worker for general farm duties. In April 2014, they had instructed him to get to a large steep sloped field using a quad bike. No training was given to him, his competency for the task was not checked, nor was he wearing a helmet. The quad bike overturned and his head became trapped underneath the quad bike for an hour; he suffered a serious head injury.
The partnership was prosecuted; they pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 9(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and were fined £6,000 and ordered to pay £4,693 costs.
As stated by HSE Inspector, Matthew Tinsley, who investigated and prosecuted for the HSE: “This is a reminder to all farmers and farm workers that it just isn’t worth taking unnecessary risk.”
It is essential that employers familiarise themselves with their legal obligations, which include the provision of adequate training, in order to reduce all-terrain vehicle (ATV) related accidents. As ATVs can become unstable if used outside their normal operating parameters, there must be suitable and sufficient training, together with the supply of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).
Further guidance on ATVs can be found on the HSE website: www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/ais33.pdf.
For any health and safety advice or auditing Birketts has a team of Safety Specialists (former HSE Inspectors) that can help.
The content of this article is for general information only. For further information regarding health and safety in the work place, please contact a member of Birketts' Health and Safety Team. Law covered as at January 2017.
This article is taken from our Agricultural Brief Winter 2016 publication. Similar articles can be found in the latest edition.