Safety

ATV sur­vey un­der­way

Farms & Farm Machinery - - Contents -

Farm­ers who ride quad bikes are be­ing sought to par­tic­i­pate in a new on­line sur­vey to as­sist with a new safety re­search pro­ject.

The death of sev­eral farm­ers has prompted SafeWork NSW to team up with the Uni­ver­sity of New South Wales (UNSW) to come up with rec­om­mended law changes re­gard­ing the oper­a­tion of All Ter­rain Ve­hi­cles (ATVs) and Util­ity Ter­rain Ve­hi­cles (UTVs) in the state.

The in­de­pen­dent, on­line Quad Bike Work­place Safety Sur­vey is be­ing un­der­taken by the Trans­port and Road Safety Re­search Cen­tre at UNSW, in re­sponse to a rec­om­men­da­tion by a 2015 coro­nial in­quiry in NSW into the deaths of 11 quad bike rid­ers in the state. In hand­ing down her find­ings, NSW deputy coro­ner Sharon Fre­und called for more re­search to as­sess the ben­e­fits, risks and gen­eral ef­fi­cacy of the pro­tec­tion de­vices.

Quad bike ac­ci­dents are the lead­ing cause of death on Aus­tralian farms, hav­ing over­taken trac­tor ac­ci­dents more than five years ago.

More than 220 peo­ple have been killed in quad bik­ere­lated crashes in Aus­tralia since 2001.

Pre­vi­ous stud­ies sug­gest rid­ers are pinned by the bike in some way in 65 per cent of cases, with half the fa­tal­i­ties caused by as­phyx­i­a­tion.

“The tragic tide of death and se­ri­ous in­jury af­fect­ing Aus­tralian farm­ers and other work­ers who use quad bikes needs to be stemmed,” UNSW Quad Bike Work­place Safety pro­ject leader Raphael Grze­bi­eta says. “We know farm­ers are mainly be­ing killed by rollover crashes. A lot of them die sim­ply be­cause the weight of the quad bike stops them from be­ing able to breathe, which must be a ter­ri­ble way to go.”

Re­searchers hope to gain a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of how quad bike rollovers and other crashes oc­cur, what in­juries peo­ple sus­tain, and how some peo­ple man­age to es­cape in­jury.

“The peo­ple who ride quad bikes for work are the only ones who can tell us what is hap­pen­ing out there in the real world, so we hope as many farm­ers and other work­ers as pos­si­ble in New South Wales will par­tic­i­pate,” Grze­bi­eta says.

“Out­comes from this study will an­swer some very im­por­tant re­search ques­tions about quad bike safety that can only be an­swered through a com­pre­hen­sive sur­vey of work­place quad bike users.

“While our re­search in­di­cates over­all ben­e­fits of such op­er­a­tor pro­tec­tion de­vices, the best mea­sure of their safety per­for­mance will come from this real world data.”

CASH IN­JEC­TION

Mean­while, the NSW Gov­ern­ment has com­mit­ted $2 mil­lion to re­duce quad bike in­juries and deaths on farms, as part of a re­cent state Bud­get an­nounce­ment. Mea­sures de­tailed in the fund­ing pack­age in­clude re­bates of $500 on the pur­chase of com­pli­ant hel­mets, safer ve­hi­cles such as side-by-side UTVs, ap­proved op­er­a­tor pro­tec­tion de­vices, and train­ing cour­ses tailored to farm­ers.

NSW Min­is­ter for In­no­va­tion and Bet­ter Reg­u­la­tion Vic­tor Dominello is pleased that more re­sources have been al­lo­cated to quad bike safety.

“Quad bike re­lated in­juries and fa­tal­i­ties are at an un­ac­cept­able level,” Dominello says.

“Ev­ery death is one too many and has dev­as­tat­ing ef­fects on fam­i­lies and com­mu­ni­ties.

“What we are do­ing is bal­anc­ing the reg­u­la­tory bur­den on farm­ers with rais­ing the bar on safety by im­prov­ing aware­ness and pro­vid­ing prac­ti­cal as­sis­tance.

“We know there are around 200,000 quad bikes in oper­a­tion across Aus­tralia in both a com­mer­cial and recre­ational ca­pac­ity, and this pro­gram is a step for­ward to re­duc­ing in­juries and sav­ing lives.”

NSW Trea­surer Gla­dys Bere­jik­lian says the rate of farmer deaths is too high and is hope­ful the fund­ing pack­age will help im­prove farmer safety.

“We hope this re­bate will go a long way in re­duc­ing quad bike re­lated in­juries and deaths by in­tro­duc­ing safer prac­tices,” she says.

To re­duce the risk of quad bikes rolling on rid­ers and trap­ping them, some man­u­fac­tur­ers such as Lin­hai have de­vel­oped roll bar-like de­vices that at­tach to quad bikes, or have teamed up with roll bar man­u­fac­tures to do so.

Quad Bar In­dus­tries’ David Robin­son has been work­ing with Lin­hai to fit anti-rolling de­vices to the com­pany’s quad bikes and says he is pleased state gov­ern­ments are start­ing to in­ject more fund­ing into quad bike safety.

How­ever, while roll bar man­u­fac­tur­ers are con­fi­dent their prod­ucts can save lives and re­duce in­juries, the Fed­eral Cham­ber of Au­to­mo­tive In­dus­tries, rep­re­sent­ing quad bike man­u­fac­tur­ers, has ar­gued they may cause more harm than good – by strik­ing rid­ers or pre­vent­ing rid­ers from es­cap­ing from the ve­hi­cle in a crash.

The later is­sue has been mit­i­gated some­what by smart de­signs that place anti-rolling de­vices on the rear of the bike, rather than over the rider cabin.

“We know farm­ers are mainly be­ing killed by rollover crashes”

Quad Bar In­dus­tries rep­re­sen­ta­tive David Robin­son has been work­ing with Lin­hai to fit anti-rolling de­vices to the com­pany’s quad bikes

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.