Resources Agriculture, forestry and fishing Injury prevention Fact Sheets

OSHA issues fact sheet on farm workers and ATVs

atv hazards

Photo: CropCare, div of PBZ LLC

Washington – A new resource from OSHA explains how employers can help protect agricultural workers who operate all-terrain vehicles.

The fact sheet details why ATVs can be dangerous, how employers should train operators and what personal protective equipment they should provide. It states that employers should train workers to perform safety checks before and after rides, consider load and weight limitations, and know how to safely cross roads and work solo.

Agricultural workers use the vehicles to perform activities such as pulling trailers, hauling loads and rounding up livestock.

According to the fact sheet, NIOSH found that 2,090 injuries and 321 fatalities related to ATVs occurred between 2003 and 2011 – with 3 out of 5 workplace deaths occurring in agriculture.

The fact sheet states that employers should train operators to do the following:

  • Before starting the ATV, put it in neutral or park.
  • Drive at a speed appropriate for the terrain and visibility.
  • Do not speed.
  • Keep alert around hazards such as holes, stumps and fences.
  • Operate the ATV in accordance with the owner’s manual. Do not attempt wheelies or other stunts.
  • Stay alert when approaching hills, turns and other obstacles.


Correction: This article originally said five workplace deaths related to ATVs occurred between 2003 and 2011, and that three of those deaths occurred in agriculture. Safety+Health regrets the error.