Less than a week after Minister of Labour Kate Wilkinson launched a campaign aimed at reducing the toll from quad bike accidents on farms there’s been a tragic reinforcement of the need for it.
A young farmhand on a Landcorp farm in Buller died yesterday after being pinned under the four wheeler she’d been riding.
I doubt if there’s a farm with a quad which hasn’t been invovled in an accident of some sort.
We’ve had some near misses – two of our staff have ended up in the irrigation dam – fortunately both times on top of the quad not underneath it; several have come off when bikes went out of control and one worker broke a leg when she rolled the four wheeler.
RivettingKate Taylor also has a list of quad bike accidents.
The safety campaign will focus on four basic safety steps:
Federated Farmers supports the campaign:
“It’s been a while since we had a coordinated ATV safety programme like this and it’s most welcome,” says Donald Aubrey, Federated Farmers Vice-President and Chair of the Agricultural Health and Safety Council, who was represented at the launch, by Stew Wadey, Federated Farmers Waikato provincial president.
“The lesson we’ve learnt is that safety education is not a one-off exercise, due to the natural turnover of farm workers. It needs to be on-going just like it is with road safety.
“Like with road safety we see it as education and training led. Prosecution, the ultimate DoL sanction, is like shutting the gate after the horse has bolted. This is about preventing accidents occurring in the first place.
“Federated Farmers, the Agricultural Health and Safety Council and FarmSafe are all fully behind the DoL on this and genuinely commend the Department for its efforts.
“ATV’s have become the farmer’s ‘Swiss Army knife’, being horse, trail bike and light tractor all in one. This multi-use nature of ATV’s can see them pushed beyond their design limits
Everyone who rides a four wheeler needs to follow the basic safety steps promoted by the campaign to reduce the risk of another four wheel tragedy.
Licences will be required for people who operate quads from next year, a move supported by FarmSafe chair Charlie Pedersen:
Pedersen believed a licence offered farmers an affordable and simple means of ensuring they were employing staff at a certain standard of ATV ability.
“It will probably cost around the same as a gun licence and last for around 10 years.
“There will have to be evidence of some practical time done on a quad and the ATV Guidelines would be similar to a Road Code,” he said.
The ATV licence would either be a requirement for new staff applying for a job or something employers contributed towards staff obtaining while in the job.
“As an employer if I require them to have a licence then, as long as I provide a bike that is safe and a helmet to wear, I have done my utmost to meet health and safety regulations.”
Requiring a licence will ensure people using quads are trained and may also help bring home the message about the need to take quad bike safety seriously.