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ATV Safety to the Fore at Dumfries Show

Union lends its support to SRUC safety initiative

NFU Scotland is supporting a safety initiative which focusses on the use of helmets for ATV users in the Dumfries and Galloway region, which is being run by Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC).

The initiative was unveiled at Dumfries and Lockerbie Show on Saturday 5 August at a special reception.

On the back of Farm Safety Week recently taking place, this initiative reiterates the dangers of working with vehicles and machinery. Statistics revealed, as part of Farm Safety Week, that the most common cause of fatality on Scotland’s farms and crofts continues to involve vehicles overturning or by being struck by a vehicle. NFU Scotland and SRUC believe action is needed to raise further awareness of the need for farmers and crofters to take their safety seriously. ATVs are commonplace on many farms and crofts and it is important that those working with them know how to do so safely.

This initiative complements the work NFU Scotland is doing locally within Dumfries and Galloway to improve the health and wellbeing of farmers and rural workers in the area.

The importance of wearing a helmet whilst using or riding an ATV vehicle and other measures that can be taken to improve safety are the focus of the campaign’s key messages. These measures include encouraging users to carry out safety checks and maintenance in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations; secure loads on racks and make sure they are not overloaded and evenly balanced; take extra care with trailed or mounted equipment and understand how they affect stability and make sure all riders receive adequate training.

Rupert Shaw, NFU Scotland Regional Chairman for Dumfries and Galloway commented: “We are pleased to support this ATV safety initiative being taken forward by SRUC.  The safety of our farmers is paramount and we encourage them all to look after their own safety.

“Through the provision of information and guidance, we can work to lower quad bike accidents. One death or injury on our farms and crofts is one too many, and any action that our workers can take to protect themselves and those around them must be taken seriously.

“This safety initiative ties in with the work we are doing locally in Dumfries and Galloway to improve the health and wellbeing of our farmers. It will form part of our work as we progress throughout the next 12 months to speak to farmers and their workers and raise awareness of the simple things they can do to change their practices and habits and make their farms a safer place to live, work and visit.”

Dave Roberts, Dean at SRUC Barony Campus, commented: “Farming continues to have a high number of accidents occurring daily and there is a danger that we can become complacent with activities that are undertaken, such as using ATVs. All ATV riders should wear a suitable helmet which can help prevent head injuries and we hope by raising awareness of this issue that we can change the habits of our farmers and rural workers and prevent accidents.”

Notes to Editors

Ends


Contact Douglas Ross on 07823 556253

Author: Douglas Ross

Date Published:

News Article No.: 114/17


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