- AgForce adopts a position on quad-bike safety that encourages producers to:
- wear a helmet
- get training
- allow no kids under 16 on adult-sized quad bikes
- not overload quad bikes
- not double passengers on quad bikes
- AgForce does not support mandatory helmets, and/or crush protection devices (CPDs) and operator protection devices (OPDs).
- AgForce supports a mandatory licensing and training system for the use of ATVs and SSVs.
- AgForce also supports a government rebate program to cover:
- helmet purchase
- installation and/or retrofitting of CPDs and OPDs
- purchase of side by side vehicles (SSV) or alternative vehicles
- Farming accounts for a small percentage of the total workforce but there a disproportionate level of workplace deaths and injuries.
- In 2019, quad bikes were the most frequently reported cause of on-farm death.
- Around the country, they are estimated to be responsible for an average of 16 fatalities per year and six emergency department presentations per day.
Despite significant monies being invested in preventative advertising campaigns by the Queensland Government, little return is evident with statistics and anecdotal evidence showing there has been little uptake of preventative measures such as removing kids on adult-sized quad bikes and wearing of helmets, and little increase in training on the use of ATVs or SSVs.
Training has been consistently linked to improved safety outcomes and for this reason, mandatory licensing and training has been supported by ATV manufacturers and recommended for adoption in Queensland by Deputy Coroner Lock in the 2015 inquest into nine quad bike-related deaths.
A new product safety standard requiring manufacturers to produce new quad bikes with rollover protection from October 2021 was signed off in October 2019. However, there is a breadth of individual farm situations and situation-specific risk analyses that may impact a producer’s decision to wear a helmet or to use CPD’s/OPD’s.
AgForce, therefore, does not support mandatory helmets or CPDs/OPDs. Instead, AgForce supports a mandatory licensing and training system to improve safety outcomes for producers.
AgForce also supports rebate initiatives that promote changes in producer behaviour through incentives such as a rebate for:
- the purchase of an alternate vehicle such as an SSV or a small utility vehicle
- the purchase of CPD’s/OPD’s for existing vehicles without them
- the purchase of helmets
Such a scheme could improve safety and lower costs for producers.