Bill's Media Releases

QUAD BIKE SAFETY

The Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Bill Shorten has reinforced the urgency needed to address the number of quad bike related deaths and injuries in Australia.

Releasing the key findings from the October discussion paper and the Quadwatch forum, Minister Shorten said we simply cannot sit by and watch people being killed and seriously injured by these vehicles. This year alone we have seen 15 deaths and for these families the upcoming Christmas period will be terrible.

“Everyone has a responsibility for quad safety, but it has to involve a safer product.”

“The designers and manufacturers of these vehicles must improve the design of quads so they are not prone to roll over and some form of crush protection device is required to reduce the potential for death and injury as a result of a crush or asphyxiation when they do roll.”

“We are keen to bring manufacturers along with us in this process and it is pleasing to see that since our forum in October some quad bike manufacturers are now playing a positive role in offering to fit crush protection devices as a safety feature.”

“For the users the responsibilities are to wear a helmet, not to carry passengers and not to let children ride quad bikes.”

With around 20% of deaths involving children under 16 years of age, Safe Work Australia will work with state and territory regulators to institute a ban on children under 16 years operating a quad bike of full size in a workplace.

“Manufacturers already have explicit warnings on full size quad bikes regarding age restriction recommendations, but we want to take this one step further and formally ban the use of full size quad bikes in workplaces including farms for anyone under 16 years,” Mr Shorten said.

The Minister also announced a quad bike lifetime product stewardship program to be managed by Safe Work Australia and the University of Sydney’s Australian Centre for Agricultural Health and Safety.

This initiative will allow every buyer of a quad bike from today to register their machine within this program for the life of the machine and to report any incidents which will provide a way to track incidents into the future.

This will enable the collection and publication of data on all quad bike incidents, near misses, serious injuries and fatalities. This data will be published on the QuadWatch website annually, in addition to published data based on fatalities reported to state and territory coroners.

The key findings from the October discussion paper and the Quadwatch forum are available here http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/sites/swa/whs-information/agriculture/pages/agriculture.

Minister Shorten media Contact: Jessica Lindell 04018 642 804