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Farmers urged to buckle up their ATV Helmets

It might take a bit of a cultural shift to persuade farmers to take off their favourite hats and replace them with helmets when they climb on board their ATV’s, but Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc) national vice-president Charlie Pedersen is confident they will adjust.

Specially designed helmets for use on ATV’s (all terrain vehicles) will be available in the next month for both adults and children.

The helmets, developed with funding support from ACC and in consultation with the Agricultural Health and Safety Council, are aimed at reducing deaths and head injuries from ATV accidents, which account for a third of accidental deaths on farms.

Charlie Pedersen, the Federation's spokesman on ACC and safety issues, thinks they will be well received on the farm.

"The helmets are specifically designed for on-farm use, and are lighter and much easier to take on and off than a traditional motorcycle helmet. They provide good visibility and good audibility when farmers are shifting stock and operating dogs, and most important of all they will afford protection to the head in the event of an accident.

"Our hope is that it will become as automatic for farmers and their families to put a helmet on when they climb on an ATV as it is to put your seatbelt on when you climb into your utility, or your car.”

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