4×4, Winch, ATV Legislation & Guidance

Legislation and guidance for 4x4, winch and ATV operators

4×4, Winch, ATV Legislation & Guidance

There is a lot of legislation surrounding the use of 4×4 vehicles and ATVs, so we try to concentrate on laws and regulations for those using them in the workplace. We can also provide information on 4×4 certifications and training options: Off-road training and certification bodies.

Company Legislation:

Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (simplified guide).

PUWER relates to all work machinery, including ATVs, Quad Bikes and 4x4s. If an employer provides 4x4s or ATVs, recovery equipment or trailers to their employees they have a statutory duty to ensure that ‘adequate training’ has been undertaken (see our article on PUWER compliance and 4x4s). If any employers are unsure as to what level of training is required, we are happy to advise you, so please email us. We won’t damage our reputation by trying to sell unnecessary courses, but we will give guidance on how to work within the legislation either with in-house training or by providing suitable training courses. See our training sections for more details.

LOLER – Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998.
LOLER relates to some situations where winching is involved during 4×4 recovery.

LOLER Simplified.

Green Lane Legislation:

NERC – Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006.

HSE Guidance and Information:

ATVs at Public Events – Many public events are run with the help of employees on quad bikes, the HSE are advising that these riders must adhere to best practice and the relevant legislation. This includes undertaking the relevant training, wearing helmets and appropriate PPE and upholding the guidance on age limits and passenger restrictions for quad riders.

ATV Safety – Press Announcement – On average, 2 people die and 1000 are injured in ATV injuries. From the Scottish HSE.

Debogging and Recovery of Forestry Machines – information sheet AFAG703 has been withdrawn, so this is the current guidance.

Two seater quad bike stability study – these machines are becoming more popular, though be aware that not all quad bikes sold as capable of seating two riders are suitable.

Rollover risk of road vehicles in off-road situations – mainly pertaining to quarry work, but the guidance remains the same for all situations where road legal vehicles are used off-road.

Vehicles and visibility in quarries.

Edge protection for vehicles in quarries.

Case Studies:

Fatal injuries in agriculture – this includes information from 2009-2010 and includes quad bikes, 4×4 and trailer use and ATV overturns.

Fatal Quad Bike Incident – case study – 34 year old farm worker died in a quad incident. Training and a lack of helmet are mentioned, but the main cause is found to be a poorly maintained bike. Farm fined £6,650.

Fatal ATV Overturn – Company fined £35000 with £25000 costs after the death of a 14 year old, untrained rider without helmet died while working.

Work Experience Quad Bike Rider Suffers Head Injuries – an quad bike rider on work experience suffered head injuries when falling from a bike. Lack of training and no head protection was blamed.

Employer prosecuted over lack of training – After an incident the quad bike rider was found to have received no training and was not wearing the appropriate PPE. Though head protection was available it was not being used.

Lone working – Gamekeeper found dead after ATV incident – This is one of the first prosecutions of it’s type, highlighting the need for all ATV riders and 4×4 operators to understand and implement suitable lone working policies where necessary.

If you want any information about how H&S guidance may affect your company, or would like to talk to us about training your quad bikers or 4×4 drivers, please contact us.


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