It was reported during the recent Farm Safety Week in Australia, that the Federal Government is willing to work with the States to improve quad bike safety. The New South Wales (NSW) Government has responded by saying the Federals should provide a national five-star safety rating system on the farm vehicles. Such a system is widely supported until the discussion turns to the criteria to be included.
Some of the print reporting of the current discussions sound has the NSW Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation, Matt Kean, sounding like a politician – reasonable and measured. However, the delivery of the same message on the NSW Country Hour program for July 18 2017 (at the 43 minute 40 second mark) is much tougher. The Minister should be even tougher on this issue and take it up to the quad bike manufacturers. Continue reading “NSW Minister should take the tough decision on quad bike safety”
This week is Farm Safety Week in Australia. This means that a lot of organisations will be issuing media releases about how to either, improve safety performance (ie. reduce harm) or raise awareness of risks and safety. What is likely to be missing from the information is practical information. This is partly because of the unique nature of farmers – isolated, small businesses, politically conservative and working from home.
Safe Work Australia
On the first day of the week Safe Work Australia (SWA) released an
In 2014, Glen Turner, an environmental officer with the New South Wales government was murdered will inspecting agricultural properties for illegal land clearing. Turner was shot repeatedly by local farmer Ian Turnbull, and died at the scene in front of his work colleague, Robert Strange. 79-year-old Turnbull was found guilty and jailed but died 12 months into his prison term. Due to pressure from Turner’s family, the NSW Government has announced a coronial inquest into the death and the circumstances leading up to it.
Several media reports acknowledge that Turner was killed while at work but the occupational health and safety (OHS) context of the shootings and the actions leading up to the incident has not been investigated except where it led to Turnbull’s trial. Indications are that the coronial inquest will look at this perspective.
The court case between the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) and WorkSafe Victoria has been resolved and, according to both parties, they both won. According to WorkSafe Victoria:
“The Supreme Court proceeding issued by Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki and other quad bike manufacturers against WorkSafe Victoria was dismissed just prior to a trial that was listed to commence yesterday.
The manufacturers had wanted the Supreme Court to rule that WorkSafe’s public announcements about quad bike safety were unlawful. The challenge has been dismissed and will not proceed to trial.”
According to FCAI’s media statement:
“In the Supreme Court proceedings, WorkSafe Victoria specifically declined to pursue a claim that the fitment of an OPD is an appropriate way of reducing the risks to operators of an ATV overturning. It has produced no data or other evidence to support its claim that OPDs will “save lives”.
The revisions now made by WorkSafe Victoria are welcomed by the ATV industry as an important clarification to correct previous reporting that, as a result of its March 2016 announcement, OPDs had become mandatory on Victorian farms. That was not the case, as WorkSafe Victoria has now acknowledged, as a result of the legal proceedings taken against it.”
As a companion piece to SafetyAtWorkBlog’s recent article on quad bike safety it is worth looking at the latest hardcopy edition of The Weekly Times, an influential agricultural newspaper in Australia. It is useful to look at how quad bikes are being depicted in the advertising and some of the content, as online versions have different adverts. The content will vary, of course, from edition to edition but a snapshot sample is interesting.