Stay safe on quads
Farmers are being urged to take special care on quad-bikes after two fatalities this week. A farmer died on his Wairarapa farm on Tuesday, while a 14-year-old died today on a farm in Kaikohe.
“These two tragic events are a reminder to the farming community that while quad-bikes are a useful tool on the farm, they need to be used safely,” says Francois Barton, Manager of National Programmes at WorkSafe New Zealand.
“Five people died on quad-bikes in 2014 and many were seriously harmed. Using a quad safely comes down to the attitude of the user, their safety practices, making safe choices and using the bike responsibly."
WorkSafe’s Safer Farms programme was launched in February and part of its mandate is to focus on quad safety. “Safer Farms supports farmers and rural communities to better understand and manage the many risks on New Zealand farms, including quad-bikes,” says Francois Barton.
“There is plenty of available information on quad safety - from quad distributers, on the Safer Farms website and through the contact centre. Our assessment inspectors often talk about quad safety when doing farm assessments and provide quad safety information to farmers when it is needed.
“As long as quad-bike incidents remain a significant part of the farm safety problem, they will remain part of WorkSafe’s focus.”
WorkSafe’s advice for farmers on better managing quad-bike risks remains:
- Riders must be trained/experienced enough to do the job
- Choose the right vehicle for the job – don’t carry passengers and tow too much
- Always wear a helmet
- Don’t let kids ride adult sized quad bikes
Other steps include:
- Keep quad-bikes maintained in a safe condition.
- Take care on slopes and rough terrain – don’t exceed the capabilities of the bike.
- Don’t do tasks that interfere with safe riding – keep both hands on the bike, eyes on the ground in front.
For more information on staying safe on farms, go to www.saferfarms.org.nz or call 0800 030 040.