Farmers responding to quad bike safety campaign

More farmers are purchasing helmets and wearing them on their farms in response to the Government’s quad bike safety campaign, says Minister of Labour Kate Wilkinson.

“The Department of Labour’s first monitoring results for the campaign, which began in November 2010, shows a 200 percent increase in the number of quad bike helmets being sold and a rise in farmers wearing them – this is a fantastic effort in just one year.

“I’m very happy to see farmers responding positively and taking action to improve quad bike safety, with many now making helmets compulsory on their farms.
“This is especially important when we consider that 40 percent of quad bike fatalities involve head injuries.

“The monitoring results also show us that more farmers have opted not to operate quad bikes on their properties and that there is evidence of an increase in the number of farmers who check their quad bikes before riding them every day.

“We’re still seeing too many quad bike accidents on farms with 850 people injured and five deaths each year on farms.

“It will take time for the accident rate to come down, which is why this is a long-term campaign and there is much more to do yet.”

Health and safety inspectors are now into the final month of spring farm visits to check on how quad bikes are being used across the country.

During September and October, inspectors visited 225 farms and issued 76 improvement notices, written warnings and prohibition notices.

“The Department is challenging unsafe behaviour on quad bikes – that means regularly getting out and ensuring farmers are taking the right safety steps.

“Farms are workplaces and farmers must remember that they have a responsibility to ensure the health and safety of their staff.

“It’s great to see many farmers taking this responsibility seriously and I want to thank all the farming organisations including Federated Farmers, Farm Safe and Dairy Women for their continued strong advocacy for improving quad bike safety.”