Keeping Children safe – Around ATV’s
December 19, 2014
Agriculture has one of the highest rates of fatal injury to children in the UK: between 2002 and 2012, 16 youngsters lost their lives from farming related activities.*
According to Health & Safety Executive (HSE) statistics, over half of reported incidents can be attributed to transportation, where the most common causes were falling off, or being struck by, moving vehicles either when travelling on site, during agricultural operations, or by leaving a vehicle unattended.
Smaller, faster modes of transport, such as ATV’s, have become very popular in recent years with farmers. However, many are unaware of the law relating to who can drive or be a passenger, even when the vehicle is being used on their own land.
Patricia Jones, Head of Rural at CLA Insurance, highlights what you should know when using these types of vehicles on and around the farm.
“Farmers we speak to are often surprised to hear that they may have been unwittingly breaking the law and putting their own children’s lives in danger. The HSE make the rules very clear when it comes to child safety”.
Here are some of the key things to be aware of:
Patricia adds “Most children under five injured in farm accidents are with an adult at the time. It is very difficult to supervise children, especially toddlers, when doing work that requires your close attention.”
The following examples from the HSE highlight how incidents involving ATV’s and children have devastated farming families.
A 12-year-old boy driving an ATV swerved to avoid a ditch and the ATV toppled over. He fell off, trapping himself beneath the vehicle and drowned in the ditch. The brakes were later found to be faulty.
A 5-year-old boy was sitting between his father’s legs on an ATV. Travelling up a steep hill, the ATV hit a rabbit hole and both father and son were thrown from the vehicle. They were not wearing head protection. The father needed stitches to a head wound. The child’s skull was fractured.
CLA Insurance is committed to helping the rural community reduce fatal injuries to children on farms. If you would like more information about how you can make your farm safe, contact us for a free no obligation review of your insurance and risk management processes. If you want to find out more about HSE rules visit www.hse.gov.uk.