Cth: Government Takes Steps to Improve Quadbike Safety

As a result of more than 150 Australians having been killed on quad bikes since 2001, the Federal Government and other groups have agreed to co-operate to reduce the number of deaths and injuries.

Farming, industry and community groups, unions and locals councils are all participating.

According to AgHealth, 23 people died last year and 10 people have died so far this year as a result of quad bike incidents.

After a round-table meeting in Canberra, the Employment and Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten said a QuadWatch webpage would be established and maintained by Safe Work Australia.

Mr Shorten says the webpage will provide information and links on how to reduce quad bike incidents, quad bike safety research, work health and safety information and contact details for state and territory regulatory bodies all on the one site.

Safe Work Australia will release an issues paper before the end of August seeking submissions on potential improvements to quad bike safety, including crush protection devices.

That will be followed by a one-day forum to discuss submissions on quad bike safety improvement coming out of the issues paper.

A 13-year-old girl from Kembla Grange in NSW died in a quad bike accident earlier this week.

Some road safety researchers are calling for compulsory rollover bars on the bikes. Mr Shorten hasn’t ruled this out.

“Death and injury are increasing at an unacceptable rate,” Mr Shorten said.

“All options have to be on the table to reduce trauma. I’m disturbed that 20-30 years solely relying on training and education does not seem to be reducing death and injury.”

“In 2011, AgHealth reported almost 80 percent of all quad bike fatalities occurred on farms and since 2001 almost half the deaths have been due to rollovers.

“In fact, quad bike fatalities outrank tractor fatalities on farms by almost two to one.

“Last year, the oldest victim from a quad bike fatality was a 94-year-old man and the youngest was an 11-year-old boy.

OHS News

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