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Sep19

Idaho Worker Safety and ATVs

Do you have any safety tips about ATV use in

Idaho industry?

It’s important to address the safety issues surrounding the all-terrain vehicle, or ATV, and there are safety precautions that can be taken to prevent workplace deaths as a result of ATV accidents.

Keep in mind that appearances are deceiving. The ATV looks almost like a safe and harmless toy that is even used by children. Nevertheless, the death toll caused by ATV accidents is climbing yearly. A Labor Day weekend accident in Arizona tragically points up the dangers.

Industries in Idaho and nationwide are turning in ever-greater numbers to the use of the ATV, and with that increased job use comes increased workplace fatalities and other accidents. As you would expect, outdoor industries like forestry, agriculture, landscaping and construction are frequent users of ATVs.

ATVs are not as stable as they look. Despite the fact that they have four large, fat tires, the rear axle is built to pivot. The goal is to make the ATV more maneuverable. But that means the ATV balances on 3 points rather than 4, making it less stable than the 4-tired family sedan. The all-terrain vehicle is particularly unstable on uneven ground, the very terrain it is frequently used on.

Here are some safety tips to avoid workplace ATV deaths:

Train workers in the safe use of the machine. For example, employees should not stand and shift weight in an attempt to keep the ATV from tipping. When the ATV actually does overturn while the worker is standing up, the result can be a tragic head injury.

Insure that helmets, seatbelts and other safety gear are used by employees on ATVs at all time.

Do not allow more than one person on an ATV at a time. The machines are designed for a single person – the driver. Adding passengers increases weight and decreases stability drastically.

And be extremely careful about modifying ATVs. Use the manufacturer’s guidelines. Many employers have modified the vehicles without paying heed to the guides of the manufacturers, with unfortunate results. Typically, ATVs are modified to add to their limited cargo space.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 19th, 2007 at 7:47 pm and is filed under
Workplace Health & Safety.
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