All-Terrain Vehicle Safety

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All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) are used for various work purposes, and one of the most popular places you’ll find the use of ATVs are on farms. They are often used to carry small loads of feed, carry pesticide applicators, pull trailers and haul small loads.

ATVs can pose several safety hazards if not used properly. The most common type of injuries are related to turnovers and collisions. It is important employers take steps to prevent worker injury from the use of ATVs. All operators should receive training and conduct pre-use safety checks.

Please see the information and safety tips below.

ATV Accidents Resulting in Injury

  • Rollovers
  • Collisions
  • Loss of control
  • The operator is thrown from the ATV
  • Operator not wearing a helmet or other protective equipment
  • Inexperienced operator

ATV Pre-use Safety Inspections

  • Tire pressure and wheels for signs of damage
  • Controls and cables
  • Lights and electrical systems
  • Oil and fuel levels
  • Chain and/or driveshaft

ATV Safety Tips

  • Follow manufacturer safety guidelines
  • Review the owner’s manual
  • Never drive an ATV if untrained
  • Never operate if tired or impaired
  • Ensure safety guards are in place on all moving and hot parts
  • Avoid excessive speed
  • Be aware of terrain and visibility conditions and adjust speed/operation accordingly
  • Always remain alert
  • Watch for and avoid holes, ruts, culverts, fences, stumps, and large rocks
  • Proceed with caution on hills, turns, and other obstacles
  • Place gear in park and set parking brake before dismounting the ATV
  • Wear appropriate PPE
    • Helmet with face shield
    • Eye protection/goggles
    • Gloves
    • Protective clothing that is not loose
    • Non-skid shoes with tight shoelaces
  • Never exceed the manufacturer’s load/weight limits (consider the combined weight of the ATV, operator, and load)
  • Avoid more than one-person riding/operating the ATV
  • Keep ATV well balanced
  • Secure tools firmly to the cargo rack
  • Understand the trailer loading and pulling procedures
  • Use caution with crossing roadways
    • Check local or state laws before operating on highways/roadways
    • Stop completely and look both ways before crossing
    • Yield the right-of-way to oncoming traffic
    • Crossroads at 90-degree angles
    • Ride cautiously as ATVs handle differently on pavement
  • Provide check-in procedures for employees working alone on ATVs
    • Be aware of their destination
    • Know their estimated time of departure and return
    • Have contact information
    • Have a mode of communication (cell phone, radio, etc.)


KEMI does not assume liability for the content of information contained herein. Safety and health remain your responsibility. This information is to be used for informational purposes only and not intended to be exhaustive or a substitute for proper training, supervision or manufacturers’ instructions/recommendations. KEMI, by publication of this information, does not assume liability for damage or injury arising from reliance upon it. Compliance with this information is not a guarantee or warranty that you will be in conformity with any laws or regulations nor does it ensure the absolute safety of any person, place or object, including, but not limited to, you, your occupation, employees, customers or place of business.