Quad Bike Safety Paramount As Carelessness Causes Accidents – Farm Safety Week

Today’s #FarmSafetyWeek focus – quad bikes and ATVs

Quad bikes can be a useful piece of equipment on any farm, allowing farm workers quick and easy access to parts of the farm which otherwise could be a time-consuming hassle. But when it is not used properly or with the appropriate safety equipment, in particular a helmet, it can lead to serious injury and even death.

This year’s slogan – Your Health. Your Safety. Your Choice. – raises awareness of the importance of good mental health and the increased potential for accidents to occur when farmers or crofters aren’t in the right frame of mind.

From Monday 16 July to Friday 20 July case studies are being issued surrounding safety on Scotland’s farms and crofts where people tell of their accidents, but also what they have now changed as a result of an accident.

Over the last year, Emma Harper MSP has worked along side NFU Scotland in the pursuit of encouraging farmers to wear a helmet when using quads and other ATVs which included a recent Parliamentary motion on the subject.

It is now NFUS policy that no images which show someone using a quad bike without a helmet can be published for any reason, in the hopes to change the public image of quad safety.

Injuries caused by improper use of equipment remains one of the main causes of accidents on Scotland’s farms and crofts.

Father and daughter duo Jimmy and Carol-Anne Warnock discovered this the hard way, as Carol-Anne had a birthday she’ll never forget.

Jimmy, who along with Carol-Anne farms Sandilands Farm in Lanark, explains what happened on January 3: “We had already drawn some lambs in to go to the market and we were going up to the other farm to draw more of them in and tag them.

 “When Carol-Anne was tagging the first lot, she came out, jumped on the trailer with the dog which attached to my quad bike. On our way to the second lot, the trailer jumped off the ball of the bike. At the time Carol-Anne was standing on the drawbar and she went straight onto the tarmac road, hitting her head.
 “Carol-Anne suffered facial injuries. She broke her cheekbone, jawbone and many teeth and suffered memory loss. She didn’t have any recollection of what had happened. When the paramedics arrived on scene they sedated Carol-Anne and took her by air ambulance to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Glasgow.
“She was in hospital for a total of 12 days. Initially Carol-Anne was operated on and then she returned home. However, she was resubmitted after catching an infection appeared around her wounds.
“It tends to be the person driving the quad who wears the helmet, and unfortunately for Carol-Anne on this occasion she was the one who was exposed and suffered the consequences.”

Although Carol-Anne’s injuries were serious she should make a full recovery. This being said, Jimmy admits it was an entirely avoidable accident.

It is important to remember ‘one seat, one bum’ when using an ATV vehicle. If there is only one seat, it is because only one person should be on the vehicle. Carol-Anne’s injuries were severe, but the outcome could have been much worse. The injuries suffered during this incident highlight just how dangerous an ATV accident can be, and just how important it is for anyone driving one to wear a helmet at all times and not to carry passengers in a trailer.

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