Open scrollable table of contents

Quad bike safety strategy

Heads of Workplace Authorities Industry strategy for the reduction of fatalities and serious incidents resulting from on-farm use of quad bikes.

Introduction

The purpose of this document is to help contribute to the reduction of fatalities and serious injuries of quad bike use on farms in a work setting.

In Australia, more than 64 per cent of quad bike deaths occur on farms and in the last 10 years there have been 130 farm-related quad bike fatalities across the country In New Zealand, five people (on average) are killed on farms and over 845 injuries are reported each year.

With the support of Heads of Workplace Safety Authorities (HWSA) a working party was convened in October 2009 to develop an industry strategy. The key strategy ( within this document were identified at a meeting held 27 October 2009 by a working party consisting of the following representatives:

  • Accessory Manufacturers – Hardi Australia, Silvan Australia Australian Workers Union
  • Dealer Network
  • Farmsafe Australia
  • Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) Motor Traders Association of NSW
  • NSW Farmers Association
  • NSW Roads and Traffic Authority
  • Quad Bike Manufacturers and Importers – Honda Australia Motorcycle and Power Equipment, ODES, Yamaha Motor Australia, Polaris Sales Australia, Suzuki Austra Kawasaki Motors, Kymco Australia and New Zealand
  • Training Providers – A TV Training, Stay Upright, H.A.R.T
  • Work health and safety jurisdictions – New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania, New Zealand, Western Australia, SafeWork Australia, Northern Territory, South Australia, Comcare

The key strategy areas are:

  1. Point of sale
  2. Training and instruction
  3. Personal protective equipment (PPE)
  4. After-market accessories
  5. Information
  6. Safe use
  7. Design
  8. Implementation strategy
  9. Communication strategy

Key strategy areas

Point of sale

Aim:

To develop and implement pre-purchase tools to guide dealerships in assisting purchasers to select the best matched and safest vehicle for their on-farm needs, and recognise that a quad bike may not always be the right tool for the job.

Output:

Development and implementation:

  • Guidance materials for the supply chain: pre-purchase support tools to guide vehicle selection through a risk management process.
  • Guidance materials for the purchaser: farm vehicle selection guide to match vehicle to on-farm use.

Promotion:

  • Point of sale promotional materials to raise awareness of safe use issues including; wearing of helmets, requirement for rider training, complying with manufacturer’s load, passenger-carrying and age limits.
  • Work health and safety regulators to support the FCAI and non-member suppliers by providing advice, information and support to dealers and others in the supply chain and through regular visits to dealerships to ascertain the operational application of agreed processes and tools and provide feedback to FCAI.
  • FCAI to disseminate guidance materials through their membership and networks.

Securing uptake:

  • FCAI to self regulate through the use of the industry code of practice and franchise agreement obligations and apply agreed point of sale processes and other guidance tools. 

Training and instruction

Aim:

To build the skills and capabilities of riders operating quad bikes on-farm through the development, implementation, promotion and securing uptake of a nationally recognised training and instruction course. 

The course will complement the Australian national unit of competency AHCMOM212A Operate quad bikes.

Output:

Development and implementation:

  • In Australia, national training and instruction course developed and progressed through VETAB accreditation process consultation with Agrifoods Skills Council.

Promotion:

  • Point of sale poster/brochure.
  • Point of sale provision of contact details for local trainers.
  • Course promoted through training providers (RTOs).
  • Farming associations in collaboration with National Farmers Federation actively support and promote the need for ride using quad bikes on-farm to be trained.
  • Union actively support and promote to their members the need for riders using quad bikes on-farm to be trained.
  • Regulators to write to VET Ministers Council.
  • Online promotion on websites of members and industry representatives

Securing compliance:

  • Australian work health and safety regulators to secure the uptake of rider training requirements in line with the following timeframes:
  • Within six months no quad bike will be sold for farm use through dealer networks without the purchaser having been formally referred to a training provider.
  • Within two years only farm employees who have received training will be operating quad bikes on farms.
  • Within five years all operators of quad bikes on farms would be required to be able to demonstrate that they have undertaken an accredited training course.
  • Manufacturers and training providers to initiate strategies to measure uptake and effectiveness.

Personal protective equipment (PPE)

Aim:

To develop an agreed position on the mandatory wearing of an approved helmet (In Australia – AS1698, in New Zealand – NZS8600, NZS5430 or approved international equivalents).

Consider practicalities, usefulness and barriers in consultation with Standards Australia for adopting NZS 8600.

Output:

Development and implementation:

  • Agreement that wearing an approved helmet when operating a quad bike is mandatory under existing work health and safety legislation agreed by all quad bike working group members.
  • At present adopting the New Zealand helmet is not viable considering helmet test certification, adoption cost, market confusion and New Zealand experience. A watching brief will be maintained.

Promotion:

  • Quad bike manufacturers/importers to promote the wearing of helmets through point of sale materials, safety decals, operator manuals.
  • Members/industry representatives to promote uptake through their memberships.
  • Continue to influence the media to promote positive quad bike safety messages and portray helmet use in any image.

Securing uptake:

  • Work health and safety regulators to secure compliance six months after commencing an advisory and information campaign and issue appropriate notices, under current work health and safety legislative provisions, noting that some jurisdictions have already progressed some action in this area.
  • Road and traffic authorities to mandate through processes associated with the provision of conditional registration the compulsory wearing of helmets under licensing provisions.

After-market accessories

Aim:

To ensure after-market accessory design, manufacture and supply:

  • Conforms to appropriate standards and legislative obligations.
  • Includes testing and examination (with/without quad bike) considering aspects such as load capacity and impact on host vehicle performance, operator dynamics and safety.
  • Includes clear information regarding compatibility to specific vehicles and intended use, including limitations.
  • Includes provision of information on:
    • installation and commissioning
    • operation, inspection and maintenance
    • transport, storage and uncoupling
    • systems of work necessary for safe use
    • weight limitations – impact on vehicle performance and stability
    • PPE requirements
    • instructions in English and measurements in metric (ISO standards)
    • date of manufacture
  • Fitting warnings, safety signs and decals.

Output:

  • Development and implementation:
  • Development of an after-market accessories guide.
  • FCAI to incorporate after-market accessory guidance information and tools in industry code of practice. To be disseminated as stand alone document until industry code of practice is finalised.

Promotion:

  • Promote at agricultural field days, events and dealer networks.
  • Work health and safety regulators to support the FCAI, Motor Traders Associations, Tractor Machinery Association and non-member suppliers by providing advice, information and support to dealers and others in the supply chain and through regular visits to dealerships to ascertain the operational application of agreed processes and tools and provide feedback.

Securing compliance:

  • Work health and safety regulators to commence securing compliance six months after dissemination.

Information

Aim:

To agree on a suite of information, advice and support products to raise awareness of safe practices for on-farm use
of quad bikes.

To support the FCAI in the refinement of their industry code of practice to encourage best practice in the supply chain.

Output:

  • Agreed adoption by Australian work health and safety regulators of the WorkSafe Victoria’s handbook Quad bikes farms.
  • Agreed that at the next review of the handbook consider the blending of information contained within the New Zealand Department of Labour’s Guidelines for the safe use of quad bikes.
  • Provision of collective feedback by Australian and New Zealand work health and safety regulators on the direction recommended coverage of the FCAI industry code of practice which was agreed would provide the supply chain with a thorough understanding of regulator expectations in the safe supply of quad bikes for use on farms.
  • Review of blended information to be undertaken after implementation of the national work health and safety legislation, in Australia.

Safe use

Aim:

To identify initiatives to address unsafe on-farm quad bike practices. This includes addressing issues surrounding:

  • vehicle selection – for each task
  • safe systems of work
  • rider age
  • carrying passengers
  • vehicle loading

Note: Issues of training and instruction and personal protective equipment are covered off in other key strategy areas.

Output:

Development and implementation:

  • Agreement that manufacturer stipulated load, passenger-carrying and rider age requirements be complied with under existing work health and safety legislation.
  • Agreed adoption by Australian work health and safety regulators of the WorkSafe Victoria’s handbook Quad bikes farms as noted in key strategy area Information.

Promotion:

  • Safe use promotional materials to raise awareness of safe use issues including; vehicle selection wearing of helmets, requirement for rider training, complying with manufacturer’s load, passenger carrying and age limits.
  • Continue to influence the media on positive quad bike safety images.
  • Securing compliance:
  • Work health and safety regulators to commence securing compliance six months after an advisory and information campaign, noting that some jurisdictions have already progressed some action in this area.

Design

Aim:

To critically consider engineering and design features which can contribute to improved safety outcomes for riders.

Consisting of:

  • long term design changes (ie at production stage)
  • after-market safety accessories, including (but not limited to) engineering solutions designed to protect the rider from crush injuries in the event of a roll-over.

Output:

  • The formation of a technical engineering working group to critically evaluate the evidence for and against the retrospective fitting of devices designed to protect the rider from crush injuries in the of a roll-over. A key purpose of this group’s work is to assist work health and safety regulators in developing a position in relation to this issue (output 3).
  • A report from the Technical Engineering Group.
  • A work health and safety regulators’ position on the retrospective fitting of devices designed to protect the rider from crush injuries in the event of a roll-over (see Appendix 1).
  • Commitment from manufacturers that representation will be made to parent companies that increased vehicle stability and rider safety outcomes are required in future models.
  • Representation to be made by work health and safety regulators directly to quad bike designers (ie parent companies) urging consideration of other design solutions to improve safety including incline indicators, speed limiters, speed alarms and load sensor indicators.

Key strategy – Communication

Aim:

For members to use consistent messaging when disseminating agreed outputs in all key strategy areas to industry.

Output:

Communication strategy.

Appendix 1: Design – Australian work health and safety regulators’ position

The retrospective fitting of devices designed to reduce the risk to riders from entrapment beneath an overturned vehicle will be supported (but not required) by work health and safety regulators providing the following criteria are met:

  1. (Until a standardised test criteria is developed) that sufficient documented design and testing of the device has been carried out by competent persons overseen, a qualified engineer that demonstrates:
    • the structural adequacy of the device
    • that the device provides a net reduction in risk of injury across a range of potential quad bike rollover events (Note: Given the complexity it may not yet be practical to demonstrate this net reduction across the full
      range of potential rollover events).
  2. The device does not adversely affect the normal operation of the quad bike – ie stability, rated load, rider control, mounting and dismounting; maintenance access, and terrain capability.
  3. Continued compliance with the quad bike manufacturer’s instructions regarding helmet use, rider training, carriage of passengers and towing and loading limits.

Note that:

  1. The regulators consider this to be an interim measure until new vehicles enter the market with enhanced rider protective devices.
  2. The NZ regulator’s position differs slightly from that outlined above. However, both provide farmers with the option to fit devices if they wish.
  3. The FCAI has expressed concerns about this output on behalf of its members, and does not agree to it forming part of the industry strategy.
  4. Despite the above, having considered the ongoing fatality and serious injury rates and the need to support the farming community in controlling the risk of entrapment beneath an overturned vehicle, work health and safety regulators consider it necessary to maintain this position. Other considerations in this decision were: Coroners’ inquest findings and recommendations, the accuracy of the current simulation model used by manufacturers
    in considering asphyxiation risks of riders beneath overturned vehicle and lack of visible progress of manufacturers in developing their own engineering solutions to reduce asphyxiation risks.

____________________________________

Catalogue No. WC01021
© Copyright WorkCover NSW 0613