Primary Industries Health and Safety Partnership (PIHSP) is calling for Australian states to address the number of quad bike related injuries on farms.
“Quad bikes continue to be the leading cause of deaths on farms and that has been the case for a number of years now,” says PIHSP research manager Simon Winton.
Quad bike incidents outrank tractor injuries 2:1 as the leading cause of injury on farms throughout the country.
Mr Winton says that a number of factors contribute to the unsafe use of quad bikes on farms, including a lack of training and children riding oversized bikes.
“They are unsuitable for young children… that poses a greater risk because young people don’t have the physical size or strength to manage them properly,” he says.
Two of the quad bike fatalities in 2015 were children under the age of 10.
Leading the way in addressing the issue, Victoria recently introduced mandatory roll-over protection devices to be fitted on all quad bikes, and PIHSP advisory chair Gordon Gregory think the rest of the country to do the same.
“The industry can not continue to do nothing about this,” he says.
Mr Winton says that quad bikes often become unbalanced in rough or steep terrain, making them more prone to roll-overs.
An ‘active riding’ technique is required in order to maneuver quad bikes on unstable landscapes, a skill that often requires rider training.
“Being trained in how to manage them properly is important.”
Quad bike training is not mandatory for riders on Queensland farms but training services are available through private and governmental providers.
Whilst the government continues to look into improving quad bike safety, Mr Winton says it is up to the individual to take precautionary measures on their own farms.
“There are a significant number out there and we have to do what we can to minimise the risks associated with those.”
- Always wear a helmet
- Keep children younger than 16-years-old off quad bikes
- Make sensible choices about terrain and environmental conditions
- Make sensible choices based on rider’s ability and your machine