Agricultural workers across Canada use all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) to complete daily tasks like herding livestock, inspecting fences, hauling supplies, plowing snow, mowing grass and more. In recognition of Canadian Agricultural Safety Week, which takes place every year in March, here are some tips for safely using an ATV.
1. Complete an ATV training course to learn proper operating and inspection techniques.
2. Inspect the ATV before every ride to ensure it’s in good working order.
3. Always wear protective equipment, including a helmet certified for use with ATVs, goggles (if your helmet doesn’t have a visor), earplugs or earmuffs and suitable clothing.
4. Use lights, reflectors and flags to increase the ATV’s visibility
5. Keep your hands and feet away from the ATV’s moving parts.
6. Don’t allow children under 12 to operate an ATV.
7. Never carry anyone else on an ATV unless there’s a passenger seat.
8. Avoid driving an ATV on public roads and paved surfaces.
9. Never drive an ATV at night unless it has headlights and a lighted instrument panel.
10. Always be aware of your surroundings while on an ATV, and avoid using electronic devices that divert your attention.
11. Avoid overloading the ATV or carrying unbalanced loads.
12. Don’t drive an ATV if you’re under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
13. If you leave an ATV unattended, make sure you set the brake, put the transmission into park and use wheel chocks if there’s a chance of it rolling.
Driving an ATV often involves working in remote areas. Pack a first aid kit and carry a cellphone or two-way radio to use in an emergency