Quad bikes are the biggest cause of death on Australian farms and over half of those are due to the bikes rolling over – crushing or asphyxiating the rider. According to the Australian Centre for Agricultural Health and Safety, there were 22 quad bike-related deaths in Australia last year alone.
A rollover can occur suddenly and in seemingly harmless riding conditions – it can, and does, happen to even the most experienced farmers.
Assess your risk of quad bike rollover using our online assessment tool above, or download our quick reference guide.
The Quad Bike Safety Rebate
Victorian farmers are being encouraged to take part in a $6 million rebate scheme to help reduce quad bike deaths in Victoria.
The Victorian Government is offering rebates of or up to $600 for the purchase of a rollover protection device for a quad bike or up to $1200 for the purchase of a safer vehicle such as a side-by-side vehicle (SSV) or a small utility vehicle (SUV).
Help improve quad bike safety by taking part in UNSW's survey
The University of New South Wales is looking into quad bike use, crashes and injuries in Australia to gain an understanding of why accidents happen and how we can reduce deaths and injuries from quad bike use. They want to hear from people over the age of 18 who use quad bikes for work.
Learn more about the research and take the survey here.
WorkSafe's revised approach to quad bike safety
On 1 March 2016, WorkSafe announced a revised approach to quad bike use in order to reduce the number of fatalities and serious injuries in Victorian workplaces. WorkSafe now accepts operator protection devices fitted to a quad bike as part of the solution to controlling the risk to operators in the event of a rollover.
It's important to remember there are still basic safety essentials when operating a quad bike. Helmets must always be worn, passengers are not allowed on single-user vehicles, riders must be appropriately trained and at least 16 years old.
Always make sure your quad bike is maintained as per the manufacturer's instructions and never exceed cargo rack carrying capacities or vehicle load towing limits (refer to your operator manual).
What can you do to improve safety on your farm?
If you have any farm safety issues you would like to discuss, the WorkSafe Victoria Agriculture Practice team will be attending a number of Agriculture Field Days. For more information about which Agriculture Field Days we will be attending, please visit our event page.
First know your legal duties.
Then ensure you comply with your legal duties using the guidance and resources available in the Farm Safety - Health and Safety Guide. This guidance takes you through the important steps for farm safety, these are to:
The Greatest Risks
As you know, farmers and farm workers face many hazards on the job. You can see the most common injury risks in WorkSafe's Injury Hotspots Tool for Agriculture, along with recommended safety solutions.
WorkSafe has recently accepted rollover protection devices as a means of controlling the risk. Find more information on Worksafe's quad bike policies.
Quad bike safety full checklist
For a more comprehensive checklist to guide your quad bike use on your farm check out our Quad Bike Safety Checklist.
The Quad Bike Performance Project
In 2014, SafeWork NSW, with support from Heads of Workplace Safety Authorities (HWSA), contributed $1.3 million to some ground-breaking research into quad bike safety. Watch the video below of the Transport and Road Safety researchers from the University of New South Wales talk about what they did.
Source: The Quad Bike Performance Project Transport and Road Safety (TARS) Research Centre and University of New South Wales (UNSW)