A virtual reality (VR) quad bike experience, aimed at helping improve farm safety, is set to take centre stage at FRS Training’s stand at this year’s National Ploughing Championships.
The VR experience will be available to the public and will take the user across various agricultural scenarios and terrains such as the farmyard, herding cattle, and rough and inclined ground, showing how these vehicles should be handled.
Quad bikes have been growing in popularity as agricultural vehicles in recent times, but their use has also led to a number of accidents occurring, according to a spokesperson for FRS Training.
10 quad-related deaths are reported to have occurred on Irish farms over the last decade, according to data from the Health and Safety Authority.
From November 20th, 2023, as reported by www.thatsfarming.com, government regulations will make it mandatory for all quad operators to undergo training and to wear appropriate protective equipment, including a helmet.
To help address these significant agricultural health and safety regulations, FRS Training will be rolling out a new quad-bike training programme nationwide.
The FRS Training Quad Bike Courses will run over two days and will be QQI accredited.
The training covers operations, loading as well as health & safety around quad use. Group courses can be arranged, and individual public courses can be booked via its website.
New training programme
Speaking about the VR quad experience and the new training programme, Colin Donnery, Group CEO of FRS Network said,
“Unfortunately, there have been far too many accidents related to quad bikes on Irish farms in recent years, with at least 10 deaths being linked to their use in the last decade.”
“Part of the problem is that people have not been properly trained in how to use these extremely powerful and heavy vehicles, which can lead to high-risk driving behaviour and unfortunately in some cases, even dangerous misuse.”
“Our VR quad experience aims to give our visitors an immersive experience that will correct some of the misconceptions people have about driving quads, showing both their advantages and their perils.”
“It will bring the VR user through several typical farm environments and scenarios, such as the farm-yard, rough and inclined terrain, using the quad around livestock and more.”
“We truly hope that as more people grasp the key health and safety principles behind operating quad bikes, they will become more aware of the potential dangers.”
“This will hopefully help reduce the number of quad-related accidents on Irish farms, which is ultimately in the interest of everyone associated with Irish farming,” Donnery concluded.
The FRS VR Quad Bike experience is open to all free of charge on Row 11, Stand 204 at the National Ploughing Championships, Ratheniska, Co. Laois.