According to Worksafe, five people are killed on New Zealand farms on average each year in work-related quad bike incidents this being about 50% of all the quad bike deaths.
Additionally, there are more than 100 severe injuries each year on Kiwi farms. Leading Waikato-based rural Consultant, Jim Findlay with AgSafe NZ Ltd, can help you with quad bike safety management on your farm.
Agsafe NZ Ltd is a resource for farmers and rural workers, specialising in rural workplace safety.
There are estimated to be more than 80,000 quad bikes in use on farms and rural properties throughout New Zealand. “Quad bike riding expertise need to be learned through riding experience and thorough training,” says Jim. Those that ride on quad bikes that are unaccustomed with the particular quad bike or farm terrain or are unskilled in the proper active riding techniques are at increased risk of injury.
The most frequent reported types of accident involve people falling off quads, rolling on them or hitting objects. The deaths are usually from crush injuries sustained in the incident.
“They don’t often look it, but quad bikes are powerful and complex pieces of machinery,” adds Jim.
The rider needs to be able to know when the right time to shift and use their body weight to control the bike. This is known as ‘active riding’.
The accepted good practice is only to let people with the right training, skills and experience ride a quad bike. “To make sure a rider’s skill is at the appropriate safe level, talk about safe farm bike riding with them and get them to show their skills under direct supervision,” advises Jim. Riders must know about the best routes to take on your farm, no-go zones and what jobs can be completed better by quad bike compared to other vehicles.
Quad bikes are vehicles that purely designed for off-road use and are not suited for travelling on public roads as they are light and offer little protection. However, to be able to ride a quad bike on public roads in New Zealand, you must register and license the quad bike, hold a current New Zealand drivers licence, wear an approved safety helmet and maintain a current warrant of fitness.
It is always important to wear a helmet while riding a quad bike. “Also consider wearing other PPE such as boots, high visibility clothing, goggles and clothing that protects arms and legs,” adds Jim. It’s also a smart to conduct a pre-operation check before riding. Check tyres, light-bulbs, chain-drive, mirrors, brakes, clutch, throttle, fuel and oil.
If you have any questions about proper quad bike techniques or looking for ways to incorporate quad bike safety in your health and safety plan, talk to rural safety experts at Agsafe today.
AgSafe NZ is proudly Waikato-based and understands the local farming environment. Jim Findlay has been a rural consultant involved in farm safety and systems for more than 35 years.
Contact AgSafe NZ Ltd:
Phone: 0274 587 724