Quad bikes ‘not suited’ to farm tasks
ONE in five farm deaths in 2015 involved quad bikes, with rural safety researchers believing the vehicles are not suited to a majority of farm tasks.
The latest report from the Australian Centre for Agricultural Health and Safety (ACAHS) says quad bikes accounted for 15 of 69 on-farm injury deaths in 2015, leading farm fatalities for the fifth consecutive year.
ACAHS director Dr Tony Lower said quad bikes and tractors alone accounted for 40 per cent of deaths while another 41 non-fatal accidents were serious enough to report in the media.
In a separate report released this week (Quad Related Deaths and Injuries in Australia 2015) Dr Lower said quad bikes were ‘not suited’ to a majority of farm tasks.
“Recommendations to reduce deaths and injury start with selecting the safest vehicle for the task that needs to be completed and in the majority of cases, this will not be a quad,” Dr Lower said.
“However, given the high rate of rollover incidents, if a quad is still to be used, then a suitably tested crush protection device should be fitted.”
Dr Lower said there were 22 quad deaths both on and off-farm in 2015 with 13 (59pc) involving persons over 50 years of age and three (13pc) involving children.
There were also a further 70 non-fatal cases that made the media.
“Keeping children off quads of any size, not carrying passengers or loads or spray tanks and wearing a helmet are also important preventive actions,” Dr Lower said.
“Agriculture has the unenviable record of ranking only second behind road transport as Australia’s most dangerous industry.