Quad Bikes – Know The Risks
For those of you who are subscribed to Workplace Health and Safety Queensland’s eNEWS incident alerts, a sadly familiar email came through last week. A worker had been killed on a Queensland cattle property whilst using a quad bike.
Quad bikes are a stalwart of Australian farm life and part of the rural landscape. Used frequently for jobs like spraying, mustering and fencing, quad bike use has also extended in recent years into more diverse applications, like adventure tourism and racing. Many Australian country kids – myself included – grew up riding quad bikes.
But although they are ubiquitous in a rural setting, quad bikes are not without their risks. A recent Office of Industrial Relations article stated that 88 quad bike related deaths had occurred in Australia since 2011, with 28 of those in Queensland. In response to deaths resulting from quad bikes, a coronial inquiry was recently held, with the results being made public this week.
The coronial inquiry made numerous recommendations, including the following:
Development of Australian standards for quad bike specific helmets; crush protection devices; and the design, manufacture, import and supply of quad bikes and similar vehicles
Introduction of legislation for mandatory helmet use on quad bikes
Prohibition of children under 16 operating adult-sized quad bikes
Development of an improved nationally-accredited quad bike training package, and introduction of legislation to mandate completion of the training by all quad bike riders through a certification/licensing scheme.
Read the entire findings here.
So what can you do to ensure a quad bike tragedy doesn’t occur at your workplace or home? Comcare has published some excellent guidance here, including handy fact sheets on assessing and managing quad bike risk, managing quad bikes in the workplace, quad bike PPE, and quad bike training and supervision. The Office of Industrial Relations also has some great resources here, including quad bike safety tips and links to organisations that provide quad bike training.
Stirling BC’s sympathies are with the deceased worker’s loved ones, and all those affected by workplace incidents.