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.
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.