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Australian farmer’s biggest safety risk – a quadbike?

Australian farmer’s biggest safety risk – a quadbike? (Last Updated On: July 30, 2015)

The most dangerous working conditions presented to a farmer is while riding on a quadbike. Although farm fatalities have halved since the 1990’s there is an immediate risk when driving quadbikes. This was revealed on ABC’s Landline recently in a story titled ‘On The Safe Side’.

In the last 15 years there have been more than 200 deaths by quadbike. For many Australian farmers this is a cause for action, and has highlighted the need for safety precautions to protect farmers from the fatalities of employees.

The 4 wheeler vehicles have not accurately been tested against the obvious health and safety risks. Many of the deaths are caused by the quadbike rolling and crushing the drivers however, there no research on the best ways of protecting drivers has been conducted.

Yes these deaths can be a result of inexperienced or careless driving, however there are safety measures that can be implemented to avoid them. Accessories mounted onto the bikes can prevent crushing and save lives. Wearing helmets can dramatically reduce head injuries which currently amount to a third of all deaths. Employers can educate and train staff of risks as well as implement health and safety policies and procedures.

David Foote, the Chief Executive Officer of Australian Country Choice, is an employer with the right attitude when it comes to the safety of his staff. He has had an injured employee in the past and as a result he is changing out his entire fleet of quadbikes for safer side by side vehicles, which are bigger sturdier vehicles. Foote who sits on Queensland’s Workplace Health and Safety Board, said ‘the statistics he was seeing and media coverage of quad accidents convinced him to implement the change to his company’s safety standards’.

“Safety features will pay off in lower insurance, the less accidents, the less claims, the less the insurance premiums and that’s a significant opportunity in savings for us” said Mr. Foote.

Another Australian farmer, Ann McGrath, has suffered more than emotional strain when losing an employee on her horse training farm in a fatal quadbike accident. She admits that she “had gone through the procedure of talking – about quadbike safety – and educating the workers to do it, but we just didn’t have – you know, the t’s crossed and the i’s dotted”.

McGrath pled guilty to not having policies and procedures in place, as a result she was fined $250,000, paid over $1 million in legal fees and had to sell property in order to pay the costs.

Employers who are not currently protected against work health and safety incidences should not be thinking twice, call Employsure today to implement the right policies and procedures into your employee handbooks. Employsure offers all health and safety clients with indemnities should any incidences occur. We ensure that you have the t’s crossed and the i’s dotted. Call us today on 1300 651 415.

Sourced: ABC Landline

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