WA: safety alert issued following quad bike-related fatality

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.
Tuesday, 16 April, 2019 - 11:30
Policy & legislation
Western Australia

WorkSafe WA recently issued a safety alert about the safe operation of quad bikes following a recent incident in which a farmer was fatally injured after coming off a quad bike in Myrup near Esperance.

The incident follows another earlier in December 2018 when a 17-year-old youth also died when he came off a quad bike on a farm in the Great Southern region.

The safety alert said possible contributing factors in incidents of this type are:

·         Quad bikes may roll over and cause serious injury or death, particularly if used on uneven ground, at high speed or to carry heavy or uneven loads.

·         Quad bikes are not all-terrain vehicles and should not be used on rough or steep sloping surfaces.

·         Operators who are ejected or fall from a quad bike are susceptible to serious injury or death.

·         Operating quad bikes without appropriate protection including a helmet, long sleeved clothing and footwear increases the risk of serious injury or death.

·         Failing to appropriately maintain and service a quad bike increases the risk of malfunction while it is operating.

·         Inexperienced and untrained quad bike operators are at increased risk of not ensuring the vehicles are always operated safely.


The alert said there are a number of steps to manage hazards and risks:

·         Consider using alternative suitable farm vehicles to travel around farms.

·         Identify and avoid any hazardous areas on farms where rough or steep terrain makes quad bike operation unsuitable.

·         Ensure all operators are provided with an appropriate level of training, instruction and supervision in the safe use of quad bikes.

·         Ensure all quad bike operators always wear the appropriate PPE such as motorcycle helmets, long sleeved clothing and footwear.

·         Familiarise operators with the manufacturer’s operation manual and safety warnings and recommendations.

·         Ensure that quad bikes are consistently well maintained and serviced.