While quad bikes remain the the leading cause of death on Australian farms, with majority of those deaths the result of a rollover, new innovations recently showcased at a safety forum is hoping to reduce that figure.
Last year tractors were the leading cause of on-farm deaths, with 9 fatalities, three of those deaths involved children under the age of 15.
A number of new designs were showcased at the 2017 National Quad Bike Safety Forum to help give Australian farmers more safety options.
The innovative safety designs included a fully certified ATV and ROV helmet the ‘Shark X-16’ – that was created as part of an ATV manufacturer’s initiative that included surveying farmers from around Australia to understand why they avoided helmets when using quad bikes.
Another safety design included the ‘Point Two Air Vest’, which is a rider safety device that inflates when a rider is thrown from their bike. The vest is being marketed as a safety option for quad bike riders.
Chairman of the Primary Industries Health and Safety Partnership, Patrick Murphy, said innovative research and developments in the quad bike space are welcome additions to the safety landscape.
“The recent Australian Farm Deaths and Injuries Media Monitors Snapshot produced by the Australian Centre for Agricultural Health and Safety found there had been six on-farm and one off-farm quad bike related deaths reported nationally just between January and March of this year,” Mr Murphy said.
“The Primary Industries Health and Safety Partnership welcomes innovative advances in this space and is keen to work with industry to support behaviour change and better understanding around safety options.”
A total of 8 people have died from quad bikes so far this year, including two children aged 7 and 8.
These facts and figures, from SafeWork Australia, revealed New South Wales has so far the highest number of quad bike deaths in 2017, with 5 fatalities, two in Queensland and one in Victoria, with rollovers accounting for the majority of incidents.
One of the 2016 incidences involved a 16 year-old male, whose death was caused by a collision on the quad he was travelling on.
There was a total of 21 quad bike deaths in 2015 in Australia, with 11 resulting from a rollover, and 10 caused by a collision.
From January 2011 to 31 December 2016 there were 106 quad bike fatalities in Australia, with almost 8 fatalities involving children aged 11 years of age or under and almost one‑third (34 fatalities) were adults aged over 60 years.
Nearly half of those in that period who died were workers.
In that same period almost half (55 fatalities) of those deaths were the result of a rollover and 69 fatalities occurred on a farm or property.
Of the 106 fatalities at least 45 were due to unstable or uneven terrain, such as an incline, ditch, embankment, sand and/or mud.