However, despite the positive findings Inspectors issued 57 Enforcement Notices in total. Fourteen Improvement Notices were issued in relation to quad bikes, six requiring quad bike training and eight requiring the use of a helmet when riding the quad.
Of most concern to Inspectors was the poor condition of other farm vehicles, which included missing mirrors and poor brakes.
This resulted in the issue of 29 Improvement Notices and four Prohibition Notices covering the maintenance of other farm vehicles such as tractors, telehandlers and related machinery. Ten Prohibition Notices were also issued on unsuitably guarded power take off shafts.
Inspector Helena Tinton, who organised the campaign, said:
“Fatal accidents on farms remain at a high level and around one third of these involve transport. There are many ways in which farmers and their employees can address these issues and take some simple and inexpensive steps to help prevent these tragic incidents occurring.
For example, they can improve driver competence via additional training and monitoring of practice and also by conducting regular vehicle checks and maintenance.
“We were encouraged to find that there was improved general awareness amongst farmers during our visits of the need to receive formal training for driving quad bikes, compared to our findings during the February inspections.
We hope that the campaign has reminded farmers of their responsibilities for health and safety in relation to both themselves and employees.”
Transport related accidents remain the biggest cause of fatalities on UK farms and this type of inspection activity aims to raise awareness of the main issues that are known to contribute to fatal and major injury accidents.
But the bottom line is that farmers and workers are best placed to take action and prevent accidents to themselves.