WorkSafe NZ is calling on farmers and other rural businesses to treat health and safety as more than a compliance issue.
So it’s timely to revisit the subject here and, notably, mention a good safety helmet your reporter is pleased to have worn during machine test outings.
WorkSafe’s website shows a downwards trend in fatalities and serious injuries, no doubt because of greater awareness and increasing use of safety helmets.
Australia’s coroners have looked at several fatalities and have not recommended the use of crush protection devices. They urge more factual evidence of their efficacy. Importantly they say that had riders been wearing an approved safety helmet the fatalities investigated would have been 42% fewer.
Riders are known to oppose wearing helmets because they are hot, heavy, difficult to buckle with gloved hands and impede hearing livestock or colleagues when herding.
The Shark ATV ROV helmet, released in 2017, appears to have addressed these issues, as it was designed for agricultural use. The lightweight composite shell meets all ECE 22-05 and DOT certifications for off- and on-road use and it weighs only 1200g.
The construction comprises four foam densities for maximum shock absorption, and it has two large, adjustable vents in the upper surface for cooling. On the sides are hearing pods with apertures allowing the wearer to hear ambient noise, and a recess at the rear allows the fitment of digital communications gear.
A quick release sliding buckle set-up does away with the older double D ring design, and a removeable lining allows easy cleaning. There are kits for dust, insect and noise control.
This reporter has worn a Shark during tests of two wheelers, quads and side by sides, and confirms that the helmet lives up to the maker’s claims.
In a wide range of weather conditions and temperatures it was cool and comfortable, and its lightness prevented neck pain even during long sessions. The quick release buckle is a big plus point.