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ATV Safety at Work

All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are not just for fun anymore; they are being used more and more in work environments. They are becoming important tools for:

  • Mineral and oil exploration
  • Surveying
  • Law enforcement
  • Farming
  • Tourism

And like any tool, proper use and maintenance is required to avoid injury and even fatalities. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports, there were 297 work-related ATV deaths in the United States from 1992 to 2007. Of those deaths, 75% were males age 35 and older. Sixty percent of the fatal ATV accidents occurred on farms and 20% on highways. Rollovers are the most common causes of ATV crashes.

In Pennsylvania, there have been 521 ATV fatalities (recreational and work-related) from 1982 to 2010. Some causes include:

  • Carrying unbalanced loads or exceeding the load limit for the vehicles
  • Not wearing a helmet
  • Carring passengers
  • Excessive speeds
  • Riding on public roads
  • Lack of training

If you are operating an ATV for work or for fun, be aware of the following tips:

  • Obtain proper training on how to operate the ATV
  • Know the terrain that you will be covering, specifically any embankments, excavation sites, or soft soil conditions to avoid overturning
  • Always wear protetive gear such as a helmet, gloves, long sleeves, pants, and boots
  • Make sure any loads that you haul do no exceed the manufacturer’s weight limit
  • Look for hazards such as rocks, stumps, fences, and low-hanging branches
  • Keep your hands and feet on the controls to maintain control of the vehicle
  • Do not drive on paved roads