The Andrews Labor Government is taking action to protect and educate farmers and workers with a renewed call for vigilance on and around all-terrain vehicles or quad bikes.
The campaign launched today by the Labor Government and WorkSafe Victoria is part of an ongoing push to reduce the number of deaths and injuries on quad bikes.
The campaign includes WorkSafe television commercials that depict how easily quad bikes can roll and the devastating consequences they can have when not operated properly.
A farmer who received serious injuries when his four-wheeler overturned on a farm will share his story as part of WorkSafe’s latest quad bike safety awareness campaign.
David Elder suffered an acquired brain injury after the quad bike he was operating rolled off the side of a driveway at his neighbour’s property at Bethanga, near Wodonga, in 2013.
To help farmers manage the risk of rollovers, the Labor Government introduced a rebate in 2016 to fit operator protection devices to existing quad bikes, or to switch to more terrain appropriate vehicles such as side by sides.
So far, more than $4 million has been spent to fit more than 2600 operator protection devices, and to assist with more than 1850 purchases of more suitable vehicles.
Since March 2018, WorkSafe inspectors have issued more than 460 improvement notices on quad bikes, including 347 that have directly related to adequately controlling the risk of rollover.
Last year, the Labor Government announced $20 million in funding for the new Victorian Agriculture Skills Statement: Smarter, Safer Farms.
The Smarter, Safer Farms program includes $10 million in farm safety and wellbeing initiatives to change Victoria’s farm safety culture and reduce the number of deaths and injuries on farms.
The Labor Government has also extended its rebate to install roll over protection on quad bikes, or to substitute them for more terrain appropriate vehicles, to September this year.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Workplace Safety Jill Hennessy
“Any death on a Victorian farm, factory or workplace is one too many – that’s why we’re running this campaign, so families don’t have to experience the grief of losing a loved one.”
“No two rides are ever the same – it doesn’t matter how experienced you are riding quad bikes, rollovers happen quickly and without warning.”
Quote attributable to Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes
“We’re taking action to reduce injuries and deaths on farms, and make sure we’re supporting our farmers to work safer and smarter.”