The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) has released an issues paper on quad bike safety with a deadline for public submissions of mid-December 2017. An ACCC spokesperson has advised that submissions will be made available to the public through the website unless privacy and confidentiality is requested. A draft recommendation is scheduled for early 2018 with a final recommendation in mid-2018.
Issues papers serve two purposes – the provision of information and questions of particular importance. This article will look at some of those questions.
In April 2017, WorkSafe Victoria created consternation in the farming sector by stating that farmers who own quad bikes must fit operator protection devices (OPDs) to the vehicles in order to operate them safely. The quad bike manufacturers took WorkSafe Victoria to the Supreme Court and, according to various media statements, the issue was dismissed before getting to Court and everybody won! On 26 October 2017, the current policy position of WorkSafe Victoria on operator protection devices (OPDs) was clarified.
Continue reading “Extraordinary, quiet, policy change at WorkSafe Victoria”
On 24 October 2017, Australia’s Ministers for Employment and Small Business announced a new taskforce led by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) that will conduct an investigation into quad bike safety. What is different about this taskforce is that it is
- a Federal taskforce,
- looking at the introduction of a “quad bike product safety standard”, and
- coordinated by the ACCC drawing on the experience of State and Federal workplace safety authorities.
Continue reading “New quad bike safety taskforce has a mid-2018 deadline”
WorkSafe Victoria’s Executive Director, Health and Safety , Marnie Williams, has had a horrid week. Last Saturday, while being ill with a cold, she stood in for the Victorian Industrial Relations Minister at a Migrant Worker Forum, at which she was asked “what you gonna do about it?”. However she continues to make herself available, a crucial element for any leader of a regulatory agency.
A couple of days later at a safety conference run by the Safety Institute of Australia, SafetyAtWorkBlog accused WorkSafe of not doing enough about the safety of Victorian farmers. Williams rejected the accusation and forecast a new, and surprising, approach for agricultural safety.
Coincidentally, as an article about quad bike safety was being uploaded to this blog, details of the release of Tasmanian coronial findings were received. The findings were released by Coroner Simon Cooper on August 25 2017 and were not reported widely.
The Coroner investigated seven deaths related to quad bikes but only two occurred on workplaces or as part of performing work – Heather Richardson and Roger Larner. Curiously, WorkSafe Tasmania did not investigate these work-related deaths. Continue reading “Tassie Coroner releases his safety findings on 7 quad bike deaths”