“…will not be using quad bikes on its new farms, and is limiting use of the vehicles elsewhere, as it looks for a safer and more suitable alternative.”
The differing positions on quad bike safety mirror the Australian debate. Landcorp will remove or limit the use of quad bikes just as did the New South Wales’ National Parks & Wildlife Service. The Motor Industry Association argues against crush protection devices just as has the FCAI in Australia. Charley Lamb of Lincoln University echoes Australian academic researchers and believes:
“The argument that rollover protection killed riders was “rubbish”. It was the same argument brought up during past debates on fitting safety frames to tractors, or about making seatbelts in cars compulsory…”
Lamb also said that CPDs were not the “ultimate solution” .
Curiously David Crawford, CEO of the Motor Industry Association is reported to have said “…quad bikes had been mainly designed for recreation”. This is a very odd comment and seems to ignore the workplace vehicles made, sold and promoted by some of its own members.
It seems that Landcorp is responding to the new understanding of risk presented by quadbikes but also to the preferences and requests of some of its property managers. Responding to the hazards presented by quadbikes and assessing the risks is a requirement of the workplace health and safety laws in New Zealand so Landcorp’s risk management strategy has some legislative justification. As is reported in the media report
“… Landcorp had introduced a set of rules restricting the use of quads to what was safe. Restrictions had been put on areas such as towing, weight carrying and the type of terrain the vehicles were used on.”
These are administrative risk controls in conjunction with the engineering controls provided by CPDs. From an occupational health and safety perspective, it is hard to argue against this sensible combination of safety.
New Zealand and Australia share much of the research on OHS issues and it will be interesting to watch how New Zealand responds to the recommendations coming from the Australian Government’s current quad bike investigations.