Quads caused four fatal farm accidents last year, Health and Safety Authority senior inspector Pat Griffin told an ICSA meeting on farmers’ well-being in Cavan last Thursday.

“They have become the most dangerous piece of machinery,” he added. Of 70 farmers in the room, around half had a quad but none had a helmet or specific training.

“People call them ATVs – all-terrain vehicles – but they are not,” Griffin said. He advised farmers to slow down, know the ground they travel and avoid steep hills. Among photos of accident scenes he showed at the meeting was an ESB pole hit by a farmer driving a quad at speed that had caused his instant death.

Griffin also warned of the heightened risk of farm accidents in the coming months, when the weather improves and farmers scramble to restore fodder stocks.

“The last fodder crisis was followed by the best year for grass, everyone was trying to bale more silage,” he recalled.

This led to a spike in accidents in 2014, with 30 deaths on farms, he added.

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