Focus on quad bike safety at Dumfries Agricultural Show

Published Wednesday, 16th August 2017 in Agriculture news

Atv safety launch
pictured: The launch of the Be Safe on ATV campaign at the SRUC stand at Dumfries Show.

The issue of quad bike safety was the the focus of Scotland Rural College’s stand at Dumfries Agricultural Show – in a bid to reduce the risks for farmers.

A multi-agency drive was launched to promote the use of helmets to cut the number of fatalities caused from head injuries while using ATVs (All Terrain Vehicles) on farms.

Staff on the SRUC stand promoted a series of key messages on the importance of wearing a helmet and other simple rules on the safe use of ATVs to reduce the risk of injury

SRUC highlighted its ATV safety initiative immediately after the National Farmers Union Scotland (NFUS) launched its overarching ‘Health and Wellbeing in the Farming Community’ campaign earlier in the day at the show.

Dave Roberts, Dean at SRUC Barony Campus, said: “Farming still has a high number of accidents and there is a danger that we can become complacent with activities that are undertaken on a daily basis – such as the use of ATVs.

“Our ‘Be Safe on ATVs’ initiative will stress that all ATV riders should always wear a suitable helmet when riding a quad bike.”

Local South of Scotland SNP MSP Emma Harper visited the SRUC stand for the launch of the helmet safety drive. She has been at the forefront of a campaign to urge farmers to wear helmets to reduce preventable head injuries.

Emma Harper said: “I am thrilled to see this project moving forward and action being taken by SRUC and NFUS  to promote helmet safety on quad bikes – especially as they are two of the most influential organisations within the Scottish agricultural sector.”

Dave Roberts added: “It was great to see such enthusiasm for this initiative. We will continue to build on this over next few weeks and months - including with our new students in their first few weeks at Barony campus.”

Apart from the need to wear a helmet, as part of the safety drive SRUC is recommending a series of steps to reduce the risks from using ATVs. These include:

•           carry out safety checks and maintenance in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations

•           secure loads on racks and make sure they are not over loaded and evenly balanced;

•           stick to planned routes, where possible, and walk new routes if necessary to check for hidden obstructions, hollows or other hazards;

•           take extra care with trailed or mounted equipment and understand how they affect stability;

•           make sure all riders receive adequate training.

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