Farm visits for quad bike safety

By: HR Systems NZ  05-Apr-2012

Date: 8 Jun 2011

Author: NZ Department of Labour

Topic: Health & Safety Advice

  • choose the right vehicle for the job
  • always wear a helmet
  • don’t let kids ride adult quad bikes
  • ensure riders are trained or experienced enough to do the job.

We want to help farmers work on quad bikes more safely, says Dr Geraint Emrys, the Department's Chief Adviser Health and Safety. They can do that by following the four safety steps and the safety instructions in their quad bike manual and also by reading the Department's new safety guidelines which were released in February this year. The guidelines are very clear about what the Department expects of employers and others who have duties under the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992. While not law, they can be used by the Courts to help decide whether someone has failed to comply with the Act.

Farms are workplaces and farmers have a responsibility to ensure the health and safety of their staff. From April the focus of the safety campaign will include enforcement - this doesn't necessarily mean prosecution. There is a range of actions health and safety inspectors can take where they find people working with quad bikes in a dangerous way - that could be warnings or penalties, or stopping quad bikes being used until safety issues are fixed. The Department will consider prosecuting when a worker has been seriously injured or killed on a quad bike because key safety steps haven't been taken.

We know that previous education campaigns alone have failed to bring down the quad bike toll on farms. While enforcement action is only one step, farmers must realise that there may be consequences if someone is seriously injured or killed while using these bikes at work.

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