Quad bike safety not up to scratch

Matamata Chronicle - - Rural Delivery -

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.

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