SafeWork SA is reminding businesses who own and operate quad bikes to ensure that the plant is regularly inspected and maintained and fitted with Roll Over Protection (ROP) or Crush Prevention Device (CPD).
SafeWork SA recently received notification of an incident involving a quad bike on a farm.
A 74-year-old male sustained fatal injuries after the quad bike he was riding, rolled onto him while he was crossing a paddock late at night performing duties on a farm.
Preliminary investigations suggest the retired farmer was riding close to the edge of a creek bed in the dark, when the quad bike rolled on its side landing on the operator fatally injuring him.
Controlling the risk
SafeWork SA reminds all owners that quad bikes are the leading cause of death on Australian farming properties.
Quad bike considerations:
- Assess whether a quad bike is the best and safest vehicle for the activity, considering the task and environmental factors. They are not suitable for rocky or steep terrain.
- Ensure all riders are trained and competent in the safe use of the quad bike before they ride one, including its capabilities and limitations.
- Consider quad bikes that have a crush protection device (CPD) fitted by the manufacturer, or, for existing quad bikes, have one retro-fitted by a competent person.
- Quad bikes are not all-terrain vehicles. Avoid riding on rough terrain or steep slopes.
- Ride to the conditions, considering terrain, visibility and prevailing weather conditions.
- Ride on familiar tracks and beware of obstacles.
- Never allow children under 16 to operate an adult-sized quad bike. Their body weight, strength and skill are not necessarily sufficient to safely control adult-sized bikes.
- Riders should always wear an approved helmet,
- Never conduct stunts, jumps or wheelies on a quad bike.
Due to the unique design characteristics of quad bikes, installing a roll cage is not possible. You can retrofit an existing bike by installing a CPD which retail for under $800. These devices change the bike’s trajectory if it rolls over. However, they are not fail-safe and should be viewed as just one of many solutions to help minimise the risk of injury and death.
Check Product Safety Australia for lists of product safety recalls for quad bikes.
To help protect quad bike users the Australian Government has introduced a new safety standard, the Consumer Goods (Quad Bikes) Safety Standard 2019. The Standard sets out the requirements for new quad bikes and imported second-hand quad bike. From 11 October 2020 quad bike suppliers must comply with the safety standard.
Further information / reference
- Quad bikes
- Ride ready - Work Health and Safety Queensland
- Quad bike safety - Safe Work Australia
- Guide for managing the risks of machinery in rural workplaces - Safe Work Australia
- Quad bikes in rural workplaces Information Sheet - Safe Work Australia
- QuadWatch - an Australian Government initiative bringing together industry, manufacturers, quad bike users, community organisations and government to raise awareness of quad bike safety. The site includes links to the findings of coronial inquests held in New South Wales, Queensland and New Zealand to examine fatal incidents involving quad bikes.