Quad bike safety not up to scratch
Typically, five people will die and 850 will be injured each year in accidents involving quad bikes on farms.
That is the harsh reality New Zealanders must face if quad bike safety is not addressed.
Farmers, their families and employees are once again being reminded of the dangers of quad bikes as the busy spring season begins. The Labour Group of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment is committed to reducing the number of injuries and fatalities caused by quad bike accidents.
‘‘With the pace of work in farms picking up as spring approaches it is vital that people understand how to use quad bikes,’’ said Labour Group deputy chief executive, Lesley Haines.
‘‘Quad bike safety is one of four key campaigns the Labour Group is delivering to reduce New Zealand’s unacceptable work toll,’’ she said.
‘‘We are committed to working to educate people on how to use quads safely. We will challenge dangerous behaviour and we will consider prosecution following cases of serious injury or fatality if the basic safety steps have not been taken.’’
Farms continue to have one of the highest levels of injury of any workplace in New Zealand.
Quad bikes are a major factor in this but one that is easily preventable if the machines are used correctly, she said.
‘‘Accidents and fatalities caused by quad bikes are, unfortunately, regularly in the news,’’ Ms Haines said.
‘‘At the recent inquest into the death of Geoffrey Gill, who lost control of his quad bike on his farm in Tuatapere, the coroner endorsed the advice of the Labour Group and ACC on the importance of using the most appropriate vehicle for the job, wearing a helmet and most importantly, receiving the correct training, however experienced the user believes they are.’’
Farmers need to be prepared for visits from health and safety inspectors throughout the year.
Inspectors are carrying out regular farm visits to ensure quad bike safety is being actively managed to educate on safe practices when operating quads. Farmers can expect action to be taken if unsafe practices are identified.
There are four key safety messages as part of the campaign:
Ensure riders are trained and experienced Always wear a helmet Never let children ride adult quad bikes
Choose the right vehicle for the job.
Harsh reality: Quad bike safety is one of four key campaigns the Labour Group is delivering to reduce New Zealand’s unacceptable work toll.