From this month, when WorkSafe inspectors conduct an inspection in workplaces which use quad bikes, if a risk of roll over is identified, and an employer has not taken reasonably practicable measures to control the risk, an improvement notice may be issued.
An assessment of what tasks the quad bike is used for and where it operates will be undertaken, to determine whether there is a risk of rollover.
Any employer who fails to comply with an improvement notice risks prosecution for breaching the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
With enforcement activities commencing, Finance Minister Robin Scott has called on farmers to take advantage of the $6 million quad bike rebate scheme, which is managed by the Victorian Farmers Federation in partnership with WorkSafe.
“WorkSafe enforcement activities are now under way. I urge farmers to take advantage of the quad bike rebate scheme to help keep themselves, their employees and their families safe,” Minister Scott said.
“Quad bikes are used in many workplaces and employers must make sure that reasonably practicable safety measures are in place. Nothing is more important than workplace safety.”
So far, the quad bike rebate scheme has paid out almost $2.8 million to either fit suitable rollover protection devices on quad bikes or to help pay for more appropriate vehicles.
Since the scheme came into effect in 2016, it has helped pay for rollover protection devices on more than 1820 quad bikes, and assisted farmers and other employers purchase 1235 substitute vehicles, such as side by sides.
WorkSafe Acting Executive Director Health and Safety Paul Fowler said WorkSafe would continue to work with farmers and other workplaces in relation to the risks associated with quad bikes.
However he emphasized that potential enforcement action was now a reality for those who did not put reasonably practicable safety measures in place.
“A WorkSafe enforcement notice may not be welcomed by some, but it is nothing compared to the trauma of dealing with a fatality or serious injury that may result if the risks associated with quad bike use are not fully addressed,” Mr Fowler said.
For more information about quad bike safety see: www.worksafe.vic.gov.au/agriculture.
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