All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) were first introduced to agriculture in the early 1980s. Over the past 30 years, ATVs have grown so much for recreational and work use that there are approximately 10 million in use. However, like all equipment, there are hazards connected with their use. In 2008, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were 135,000 injuries and 410 deaths in the USA.

To reduce your risk of an ATV related injury or death, take heed to the following precautions:

• Wear the appropriate personal protective equipment

• Participate in certified safety training

• Maintain your ATV in proper working conditions

• Practice safe operating procedures

• Follow safety recommendations:

- The ATV manufacturer's instructional manual

- Organizations that stress safety in agriculture, like Cooperative Extension departments in land-grant universities.

PROTECTIVE GEAR for ATV OPERATORS

Helmet - Make sure that it is the right size and has been approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the Department of Transportation, or the Snell Memorial Foundation. If the helmet isn't equipped with a face shield, wear ANSI-approved goggles or glasses with hard-coated polycarbonate lenses.

When operating an ATV wear gloves, boots, long sleeve shirt or jacket and long pants.

When you're spraying pesticides, follow the PPE recommendations on the applicator's label as you will be in close proximity of the nozzle and the material being treated.

SAFE OPERATING

PROCEDURES

• Turning

- Remember to shift your weight properly when making a turn.

- When turning at low speeds, shift your body weight forward and to the outside of the turn while turning the handlebars.

- When turning at high speeds, lean your upper body toward the inside of the turn while keeping your weight on the outer footrest.

• Braking-

- Applying the brakes evenly and gently will bring the ATV to a proper stop.

- If possible release the throttle and shift to a lower gear prior to your stopping point.

• Climbing

Operating an ATV on steep slopes increases the potential for a rear overturn or any overturn.

- When you approach an incline, keep both feet firmly on the footrests your weight forward and uphill.

- If the ATV stalls on steep inclines and you feel the machine drifting backwards, apply the brakes slowly. Applying the brakes quickly when rolling backward can cause a rear overturn.

In two weeks I'll share some information on general safety recommendations and maintenance tips with your ATV. Next week we will discuss the importance of volunteers and celebrate them during National Volunteer Week, April 21-27.



UPCOMING EVENTS

• April 18 - Horse Show Planning Meeting and Ethics Training, 6 p.m., Neshoba Coliseum.

• April 18 - Rifle and Pistol Practice, 4 p.m., Herring Property near Sandtown Methodist Church and Beason Property in Fork Community.

• April 21-27 - National Volunteer Week.

• April 22 - Shotgun Practice, 4 p.m., Beason Property in Fork Community.

• April 23 - Archery Practice, 4 p.m., Neshoba County Coliseum Near Stall Barn.

• April 23 - Leadership Neshoba Banquet, 6 p.m., Senior Citizen Center, Northside Park.

• April 25 - Rifle and Pistol Practice, 4 p.m., Herring Property near Sandtown Methodist Church and Beason Property in Fork Community.

• April 25 - Last Day to Register for the State and District 4-H Horse Shows.

• April 25 - Neshoba County Cattleman's Association Meeting, 6 p.m., Neshoba Coliseum.

• April 27 - Southeast District 4-H Shooting Sports Competition, Harrison County.

Until next week, get into 4-H! All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) were first introduced to agriculture in the early 1980s. Over the past 30 years, ATVs have grown so much for recreational and work use that there are approximately 10 million in use. However, like all equipment, there are hazards connected with their use. In 2008, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were 135,000 injuries and 410 deaths in the USA.

To reduce your risk of an ATV related injury or death, take heed to the following precautions:

• Wear the appropriate personal protective equipment

• Participate in certified safety training

• Maintain your ATV in proper working conditions

• Practice safe operating procedures

• Follow safety recommendations:

- The ATV manufacturer's instructional manual

- Organizations that stress safety in agriculture, like Cooperative Extension departments in land-grant universities.

PROTECTIVE GEAR for ATV OPERATORS

Helmet - Make sure that it is the right size and has been approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the Department of Transportation, or the Snell Memorial Foundation. If the helmet isn't equipped with a face shield, wear ANSI-approved goggles or glasses with hard-coated polycarbonate lenses.

When operating an ATV wear gloves, boots, long sleeve shirt or jacket and long pants.

When you're spraying pesticides, follow the PPE recommendations on the applicator's label as you will be in close proximity of the nozzle and the material being treated.

SAFE OPERATING

PROCEDURES

• Turning

- Remember to shift your weight properly when making a turn.

- When turning at low speeds, shift your body weight forward and to the outside of the turn while turning the handlebars.

- When turning at high speeds, lean your upper body toward the inside of the turn while keeping your weight on the outer footrest.

• Braking-

- Applying the brakes evenly and gently will bring the ATV to a proper stop.

- If possible release the throttle and shift to a lower gear prior to your stopping point.

• Climbing

Operating an ATV on steep slopes increases the potential for a rear overturn or any overturn.

- When you approach an incline, keep both feet firmly on the footrests your weight forward and uphill.

- If the ATV stalls on steep inclines and you feel the machine drifting backwards, apply the brakes slowly. Applying the brakes quickly when rolling backward can cause a rear overturn.

In two weeks I'll share some information on general safety recommendations and maintenance tips with your ATV. Next week we will discuss the importance of volunteers and celebrate them during National Volunteer Week, April 21-27.



UPCOMING EVENTS

• April 18 - Horse Show Planning Meeting and Ethics Training, 6 p.m., Neshoba Coliseum.

• April 18 - Rifle and Pistol Practice, 4 p.m., Herring Property near Sandtown Methodist Church and Beason Property in Fork Community.

• April 21-27 - National Volunteer Week.

• April 22 - Shotgun Practice, 4 p.m., Beason Property in Fork Community.

• April 23 - Archery Practice, 4 p.m., Neshoba County Coliseum Near Stall Barn.

• April 23 - Leadership Neshoba Banquet, 6 p.m., Senior Citizen Center, Northside Park.

• April 25 - Rifle and Pistol Practice, 4 p.m., Herring Property near Sandtown Methodist Church and Beason Property in Fork Community.

• April 25 - Last Day to Register for the State and District 4-H Horse Shows.

• April 25 - Neshoba County Cattleman's Association Meeting, 6 p.m., Neshoba Coliseum.

• April 27 - Southeast District 4-H Shooting Sports Competition, Harrison County.

Until next week, get into 4-H!