Speaking at the launch of these safety documents
recently, Minister of State for Trade, Employment,
Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection,
Pat Breen, said that training is central to improving farm
"The use of large and powerful machinery on our farms
is widespread and has made farming more productive.
However, it does concern me greatly that many farmers
are working with these machines having never received
formal training. Over half of all fatal accidents on farms
involve vehicles or machinery. It is possible to operate
farm vehicles, such as quad bikes, safely but adequate
training is essential. So, my message is clear. Get trained
on how to use your vehicles and machinery and on how to
use the Farm Safety Code of Practice. A small investment
in time makes your farm a safer place for you, your
workers and your family and might ultimately save a life."
Dr Sharon McGuinness, chief executive of the HSA said
the use of quad bikes is becoming more common on farms
and there is concern that wider use will lead to more
"These vehicles are designed to navigate rough terrain
and be used in adverse weather conditions, but these
factors can affect the stability of the vehicles. I would
echo the Minister's call to the farming community. Get
training and put safety at the core of everything you do on
CAUSES OF QUAD BIKE ACCIDENTS
According to the HSA, the underlying causes of quad
accidents are usually one or more of the following:
Lack of formal training or experience;
Poor quad maintenance, particularly tyres and
Poor physical mobility;
Carrying a passenger or an unbalanced load;
Tipping on a bank, ditch, rut or bump;
A steep slope combined with other factors, for
example ground or load conditions; and
Towing excessive loads with un-braked
KEY WAYS TO STAY SAFE ON YOUR QUAD
Undertake formal training
Wear a helmet and personal protective
Know the terrain you're travelling across
Keep the quad maintained and in good condition
Don't overload racks
Check tyre pressure
Use of quads may be unsuitable for older
operators with poor physical mobility and
slower response times.
Source: Safe use of Quad Bikes, HSA, 2018.
Farmers are advised to contact their local Teagasc office or visit
for details on the new
training schedule for the Farm Safety Code of Practice.
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