Dee Jepsen – State Agricultural Safety and Health Leader
All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) continue to be in the top 5 most dangerous vehicles operated by workers and family members in rural areas and farm operations. Not just in Ohio, but around the U.S., ATV crashes are a cause for concern… and also an area to improve training.
Overall, fatalities have decreased in the U.S. by 31%. And youth fatalities have declined by 50%. This is good news, and news worthy to share! Good training programs, along with continued practice, help develop riding skills needed to encounter various types of terrain.
Ohio is one of the few states in the nation to offer a 4-H project in ATV Safety. Not just for youth, this project is good for riders of all ages. The book helps develop riding skills based on the ATV Safety Institute (ASI) training recommendations. Highlights include: protective gear, riding techniques, respecting the environment, and practice records. The booklet is available in all Ohio county Extension offices or online at http://estore.osu-extension.org/ATV-Safety-P319.aspx.
An ATV Safety video is also available through OSU. This ten-minute educational DVD provides instruction on safe operating procedures and proper protective gear when using the ATV for farm use. Some of the tasks highlighted in the video include: proper ATV fit, add-on equipment, hauling loads and herding livestock. The DVD can be purchased through OSU Extension eStores at: http://estore.osu-extension.org/ATV-Safety-for-Agriculture-P366.aspx
A 1-minute video is available in the Farm SOS training program. This YouTube video takes a lighthearted approach to a serious farm topic. It emphasizes that hazards are everywhere – so be aware and get trained. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJ2PKiPsoHY&list=PLGP20FcGgnZXGEh8Bjn4_QMzpbKvPCIDd&index=8
New safety gear will be featured at the 2017 Farm Science Review. An ATV crush bar – mounted to an ATV – will demonstrate how an after-market roll bar was designed to protect riders in the event of a roll-over. This hairpin shaped hoop will keep the vehicle from crushing the operator. A new lightweight helmet is also coming onto the market. This helmet is not recommended for high-speed operation, but rather in working situations on ATVs and side-by-side utility vehicles (UTV’s) wear off-road vehicles are used in occupational settings. Come see these new products at the safety area of OSU Central (at the corner of Land Ave and Kottman Street during the Farm Science Review, Sept. 19-21.
All ATV operators are encouraged to practice safe riding habits. The more skilled the riders, the better experience and enjoyment during recreation or work activities.