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FARMERS WARNED – SAFETY FIRST AROUND FARM VEHICLES AFTER THREE DEATHS THIS YEAR

SafeWork NSW 2 mins read

14 FEBRUARY 2024

 

SUBJECT MATTER EXPERT AVAILABLE FOR INTERVIEWS

 

SafeWork NSW is reminding farmers to wear seatbelts, use helmets and choose the right vehicle when using side-by-side vehicles, quad bikes and motorcycles after a spate of incidents where people, including children, have been seriously injured or killed while using farm vehicles.

In the most recent incident on February 14 at Coonamble, SafeWork is investigating an incident where a 37-year-old man and a four-year old suffered serious injuries when ejected from a quad bike. Initial enquiries indicate that neither was wearing a helmet.

SafeWork is currently investigating three fatalities which have occurred since January 1, including:

  • On January 8 in Goohli, a side-by-side vehicle being driven by an adult with two child passengers were mustering cattle when the ATV rolled into a dam trapping and causing the death of one of the child occupants. Initial enquiries indicate that none of the occupants may have been wearing their seatbelts.
  • On January 25 in Narromine, a 51-year-old man died after being ejected from a moving side-by-side vehicle while undertaking farm-related work. Again, initial enquiries suggest that the seatbelt was not being worn.
  • On February 1, a 32-year-old female contractor was thrown from a motorbike and suffered fatal injuries on a property 120km east of Tibooburra while not wearing a helmet.

SafeWork is reminding people using side-by-side vehicles to use all available safety features, including wearing seatbelts and helmets which will help protect operators and passengers from fatal or serious injuries in case of roll over.

Since 2001, there have been more than 56 deaths in NSW from quad bike incidents.  A further 20 people have died on side-by-side vehicles. Rollovers can occur even at low speeds and on flat terrain, leaving riders trapped, or crushed under the quad bike.

For farmers that continue to use quad bikes, SafeWork advise users to adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions, particularly relating to load limits and keeping loads balanced.  Heavy or unstable loads like chemical tanks for spraying can affect braking, alter the centre of gravity and make the vehicle difficult to control and more prone to rollover.   

For more information on Farm Safety, please visit https://www.safework.nsw.gov.au/your-industry/agriculture,-forestry-and-fishing/farming.  

Please attribute to Head of SafeWork NSW, Trent Curtin

“A quad bike can weigh 400 kilos and reach speeds of more than 50 kilometres per hour. They are extremely dangerous and are certainly not a machine a child under the age of 16 should ever operate or be a passenger on.

“The safety features on your vehicle could save your life. It is an unnecessary tragedy when workers operating vehicles with numerous safety features including roll-over protective structures and seatbelts lose their lives by simply not wearing their seatbelt. 

“Where SafeWork Inspectors come across workers operating side by side vehicles not wearing seatbelts or operating quad bikes without wearing helmets or having an operator protective device fitted, they will be taking a zero-tolerance approach and issue notices and fines.”

MEDIA: media@customerservice.nsw.gov.au | 0438 108 797

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