Quad bike death in WA prompts safety reminder

The following article is a news item provided for the benefit of the Workplace Health and Safety profession. Its content does not necessarily reflect the views of the Australian Institute of Health & Safety.
Thursday, 2 July, 2020 - 12:30
Incidents & prosecutions
Western Australia

The recent death of a 76-year-old farmer at Elleker, west of Albany in Western Australia, has prompted a reminder about quad bike safety.

The farmer went out on a quad bike to do some checks on the afternoon of May 24. He had not returned that evening and was later found deceased on the farm.

His quad bike was operated on a steep incline in wet and windy weather, and it appeared it was being ridden down the slope when the farmer lost control and the bike flipped and landed on him.

A tank attached to the quad bike may have contained fluids, and may have contributed to unbalancing the bike.

WorkSafe Western Australia Commissioner Darren Kavanagh expressed his sadness at the loss of another farmer in an incident involving a quad bike.

“I’d like to offer my condolences to the family of the farmer killed in this unfortunate incident,” Kavanagh said.

“Incidents involving quad bikes happen far too often on WA farms, and in fact all across the country.

“WorkSafe and the Commission for Occupational Safety and Health are working hard to reduce the injury and death toll in all areas of the agriculture industry.”

The Commission has established an Agriculture Working Group which includes agricultural representatives and works to improve safety on WA farms.

In April last year near Esperance, a 51-year-old farmer died when he was thrown from a quad bike while riding on a gravel livestock laneway. He was not wearing a helmet.

Just four months before that, a 17-year–old youth died when he came off a quad bike on a farm in the Great Southern region.

“Quad bikes are the source of many injuries in both workplaces and non-workplaces, and it’s worth thinking about substituting them for another vehicle,” Kavanagh said.