• Lucille N
    I would like to know the general consensus regarding ATV/side by side training for workers, please. For use on a farm, that is completely flat, with short distance sealed road use. Is sign off on an SOP enough, or is an external training course required? Personally, I would err on the side of caution with this, and given PCBU's do not know the individual workers' skills for operating an ATV/side by side, I would see value in the external training. Especially if the environment changed in the future, (which is possible as the vehicle won't only be used on this farm).

    WorkSafe guidance states, “operating a side-by-side safely doesn’t come naturally. A hands-on course run by a competent and experienced instructor is a good way to learn…Refresher training can help to strengthen your skills and competence”. However, I am mindful that I do not have a lot of knowledge in this area and do not want to over train for a task. Would really appreciate anyone's guidance or opinions on this subject please.
  • Alex P
    Hi Lucille,

    Our workplace has been in a similar position, albeit with more difficult terrain and a much larger pool of drivers. We decided to put two of us (myself included) though a 2 day LUV course as we were delivering the training internally and then signing off others with in the company if they were deemed competent.

    We completed a 2 day micro-credential for operating a LUV (UTV/side by side etc) and found it to be a complete waste of time. We didn't learn anything and spent 70% of the course 'copying' material out of manual and writing it into x5 unit standard assessments. To make it worse, the main tutor was out with covid so we had a fill-in that had never delivered the course before... We also came from a background of operating quads, snowmobiles, and other similar plant, so it's likely experience played a big part there.

    You could ask yourself these questions:
    What is the task? (terrain, environment, distance, passengers, towing or not,)
    What is the vehicle being used?
    What are the hazards?
    What could go wrong (risks)?
    What training have the drivers received in the past?
    What is the experience of the drivers?
    How can I assess if they are competent? Would a drivers license suffice?
    What controls are reasonably practicable for managing the risks?
    Who's delivering the training internally?
    What is their experience, training, and competency? Can you verify that?

    We have an SOP, a 10 question quiz, and a practical assessment in place that covers two different levels of operation. We consider this to be reasonably practicable based on us answering the questions above.

    In contrast, the agriculture industry had 11 fatalities last year, of which 6 involved a vehicle. There might be data somewhere to give context to those incidents.

    I'm sure there are some great external training providers out there; unfortunately our experience was disappointing.
  • Lucille N
    Hi Alex,
    Thanks so much for this very insightful reply. That really helps weigh it up and give some perspective!
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