In the wake of the recent serious incident in Essex, in which a number of beaters were injured when the trailer they were travelling in overturned, the UK’s largest shooting organisation, the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC), is reiterating its guidance for the transportation of people on shoot days.
David Ilsley, BASC’s head of marketing and membership services, said: "We wish everybody involved in Friday’s incident a quick recovery. However the full facts are not yet clear and we would urge all shoot providers to take the necessary precautions to ensure the safety of shoot personnel and guns alike. Further information is available on our website and people can contact us for advice."
It is the responsibility of shoots to make sure transport is safe. Careful attention should be given to providing transport which is weatherproof, well constructed and fully serviceable on a shoot day. All transport must be in a roadworthy condition. Each shoot has a different set of circumstances but if you are providing transport, in particular trailers towed behind vehicles, then here are some points to check:
• Trailers must be in good condition, with properly maintained tyres and braking which includes both parking and service brakes. The trailer floor must be in sound condition.
• The driver should be trained and experienced in towing trailers. He should ensure he drives carefully with consideration to passengers; does not change speed quickly, does not jolt passengers, nor cause them to be thrown around.
• Anyone riding as a passenger on any form of agricultural equipment should only do so in a properly constructed and secured seat. This does not necessarily rule out the use of straw bales but they must be secured and preferably positioned down the centre of the trailer with passengers sitting back to back.
• Where trailers are used, the towing vehicle must be in good roadworthy condition, in particular steering, braking systems and tyres. The vehicle must be properly coupled to the trailer. If travelling on public roads the trailer should have working tail lights including indicators.
• Slow moving vehicles with a maximum speed of 25 mph and any trailer drawn by such a vehicle must display an amber light from a warning beacon.
• Seating on trailers, in addition to being securely fixed to the trailer bed, must also be fitted with a backrest unless situated down the centre of the trailer. This should extend at least 400mm above the seat level.
• Open trailers must be fitted with a guardrail between 920mm and 1050mm above floor level. An intermediate rail and toe board is advisable. All other edges of the trailer must be fitted with a front guardrail of similar specification (except where access is necessary).
• A safe means of access must be provided. This could be a short ladder or steps. If fixed steps are used, the first step should be less than 550mm from the ground. A secure handhold should be available. Where passengers are carried after dark, there must be a lighting system which illuminates the access and the passenger area. There must also be red tail-lights.
• A safe system of operation must be in place, which should include:
– A responsible person travelling on each trailer to assist passengers (not the driver). They must be able to contact the driver easily and the driver should not move unless instructed by this person.
– All passengers must remain seated whilst the vehicle is in motion.
The responsible person should ensure the number of passengers does not exceed the capacity of the trailer.
For more information, click here.