HSA urges farmers to get ready for new quad bike regulations

22 Sep , 2022  

The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) stand at this year’s National Ploughing Championships is focusing on the important safety regulations around quad bikes (ATVs), which include the introduction of compulsory helmet wearing and training for operators. The Authority will have a demonstration area which will showcase the safe use of quad bikes and have advice and guidance available on the new regulations and on how to become compliant in advance of the November 2023 deadline. The demonstration of the safe use of quad bikes will be happening on the hour at the HSA stand.

Over the last ten years (2012- 2021) there have been 11 fatalities in agriculture involving quad bikes.

The HSA have also reported 1 further quad bike related fatality to date this year. This is out of the 10 reported work related fatalities to date on Irish farms in 2022.

Alongside the quad bike safety messaging the Authority has launched a new guide on The Safe Use of Chainsaws, which will be of particular interest to farmers, professional chainsaw contractors and forestry workers.

Last year, in 2021, the HSA reported 1 fatality relating to chainsaw use and have reports of 39 serious incidents/injury involving chainsaws over past ten years across all sectors. However, this figure is likely to be higher due to low reporting of injuries.

Welcoming the HSA’s work promoting the regulations on Quad Bike Safety with the farming community Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail, Damien English TD stated: “Farming continues to be the most dangerous occupation in Ireland, with 10 people losing their lives in 2021 and 10 more so far this year. While there have been some improvements in recent fatality figures, every death is one too many, and is devastating for the families, friends and communities left behind. I would urge everyone working on farms to engage with the HSA’s guidance and look to the many supports they have available to work safer on farms, especially when it comes to operating machinery.

“It’s encouraging to see the demonstrations here at the HSA stand where farmers can see first-hand how best to use quad bikes safely, the importance of wearing helmets and how to access training to ensure best practice in safety when it comes to working on Irish farms.

I” welcome the important new guidance for Safe Use of Chainsaws – a much used piece of machinery on Irish farms. It’s vital that if you are using hazardous machinery like this that you are trained to do so – otherwise you shouldn’t be using it. It’s best to always seek advice from trained professionals when using chainsaws, whether that’s on your farm, your land or in any workplace.”   

Commenting on the HSA stand’s focus on quad bikes and other machinery hazards at this year’s event HSA Chief Executive Officer, Dr Sharon McGuinness said: “The focus on Quad Bike regulations is timely as we look to just a 12 month period where farmers will need to ensure they are trained quad bike users and wear an appropriate helmet when operating these vehicles. In the last 10 years we’ve had 11 fatalities involving quad bikes, so we know these are important safety measures, which will be in place in the coming year and with the guidance and advice available from the HSA, farmers have time to be ready to meet these changes. 

“I’d also ask farmers to read our latest Guide on the Safe Use of Chainsaws. It’s important that farmers get appropriate training before using this type of machinery and this guidance will assist them in recognising the hazards and the appropriate steps to take to ensuring they’re safe when chainsaws are is use.”

The HSA stand will also feature areas covering the recently published Farmer Health and Wellness Booklet, which was developed by the Farm Safety Partnership earlier this summer. The booklet covers a range of areas of health and wellness.

Speaking on behalf of the Farm Safety Partnership Advisory Committee (FSPAC) to the HSA, Chairperson, Ciaran Roche, said: “When it comes to farm safety, it’s only when we work in collaboration that real change can happen. The partnership now sees quad bike regulations coming into effect and important new guidance for Health and Wellness of Irish Farmers. There is also new guidance on ensuring farmers can access supports and advice when working with hazardous machinery such as chainsaws. All of which is available on 

“The FSPAC are almost half way through our current Action Plan 2021-2024 and I look forward to continuing our work in delivering collaborative solutions relating to farm safety in Ireland.”

The HSA stand will also feature information on vehicle and machinery safety and safety guidance on working with livestock and farmers health. Copies of the new publications will be freely available at the HSA stand or can be downloaded from