Proceedings of the National Institute for Farm Safety (NIFS) 2008 Annual Conference, June 22 - 26, 2008, Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Urbana, IL: National Institute for Farm Safety, Inc., 2008 Jun; :1-15
The major conclusion to be drawn from these results is that despite the presence of warning labels placed on ATVs, recommendations by health and safety professionals, and guidelines set forth in the NAGCAT related to safe ATV use, ATV injury rates are not declining at an appreciable rate for children who live and work on farms. There have been attempts at legislative responses to the hazards presented by ATVs, but many of these have been unsuccessful and would have had little impact on the farming community. States have begun adopting restrictive ATV regulations, but these regulations typically have little impact on private property use as they are directed toward use on public roads and lands. The injuries included in CAIS data occurred on farm property, therefore it is unlikely that recent legislation would apply or have been enforceable in these events. In 2002, NIOSH made recommendations for federal child labor laws that would prohibit youth younger than 16 years of age from operating ATVs while performing farm work. These recommendations, however, have not yet been adopted and would likely have had little impact on the injuries in this study since the majority of farms in the CAIS sample are exempt from federal child labor laws. In addition, federal child labor laws would not impact recreational use of ATVs, the most common use resulting in youth injuries. Also in 2002, CPSC received a request from the Consumer Federation of America to restrict the sale of adult-sized ATVs to youth younger than 16 years of age. CPSC denied this petition in 2005 due to the limited value of such a ban since most ATV distributors already deny the sale of large ATVs to youth under 16 years of age and used-ATVs sales would not be impacted. Given the shortcomings of recent legislative attempts to reduce A TV injuries, hazard awareness education and access to training for ATV and farm operators continue to be the sole means of impacting ATV injury to youth on farms. Ongoing surveillance of ATV injuries should be utilized to determine the effectiveness of educational programs. Surveillance specific to ATV use and injury may be necessary as general farm injury data do not provide the specificity needed to examine ATV injury events in detail. Since ATVs are operated during both work and recreational activities on the farm, ATV safety should be an integral component of effective farm safety programs.