Minister for Business, Employment and Retail, Damien English is introducing measures to help reduce the number of serious quad (ATV) injuries and fatalities.
The minister has signed the statutory instrument, which introduces an obligation on the users of all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) to:
- Undergo mandatory training;
- Wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), when using such vehicles for work purposes.
The new measures will come into force on November 20th, 2023.
Damien English TD, Minister for Business, Employment and Retail, said:
“In recent years, there has been a number of accidents in farming and other areas of work involving the use of ATVs.2
“The number and severity of these incidents have given rise to serious safety concerns, particularly across the farming community.”
He said 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.
From 2009-2018, tractors, ATVs and other vehicles represent 30% of workplace fatalities in the agriculture sector.
He added that ATV fatalities show a “significant” increase in recent years, with 11 fatalities attributed to their operation.
HSA-led investigations show that a lack of training and head protection caused many of these accidents.
Introducing mandatory training and use of PPE for using ATVs was one of the Farm Safety Task Force’s recommendations.
“The two-year lead-in period in relation to the enforcement of these requirements is to allow everyone involved – users, suppliers and retailers – enough time to ensure that all of the necessary measures will be in place for compliance.”
Drive down fatalities on farms
Martin Heydon TD, Minister of State with responsibility for Farm Safety at the Department of Agriculture, added:
“ATVs are important tools on many farms. However, they can be dangerous. The 11 fatalities recorded by the HSA are a stark reminder of that fact.”
He said it is possible to reduce the risks associated with the operation of ATVs. The minister believes this starts with appropriate head protection and training.
“I welcome the work of my colleague Minister English to introduce this legislation. It is another important step to drive down the unacceptably high number of fatalities on Irish farms.”
“I look forward to working closely with Minister English over the next while to help farmers who use ATVs prepare for the new requirements, making their farms safer places,” he concluded.