On Sunday 23 May 2016, Queen’s Counsel Ross Ray died after being pinned under a rolled over quad bike on his Victorian hobby farm. According to one early media report, he was not wearing a helmet nor was his quad bike fitted with a crush protection device (CPD). In the past he has represented quad bike manufacturers who object to devices that can protect this type of incident. If the report is true, his death appears ironic but Ross Ray was involved in a lot more occupational health and safety cases than just quad bikes. Continue reading “Irony in tragedy masks an interesting legal career”
[Guest Post from Dave Robertson of Quadbar]
On March 3 2016, the Queensland government released its “Statewide Plan for Improving Quad Bike Safety”. The document covers a wide range of issues but risk controls like substitution and engineering only get small mention.
“…to create a safety culture through education and awareness as the immediate first step toward improving safety outcomes for quad bike users and their passengers.”
It must be noted that the plan covers occupational and recreational use of quad bikes but it is also important that the Statewide Plan does not indicate how the success of the plan and the safety culture model will be assessed.
A decision by WorkSafe Victoria about the fitting of crush protection devices (CPD) to quad-bikes (All Terrain Vehicles/ATV) gained the major prominence in the latest edition of a major Australian farming newspaper, The Weekly Times. The newspaper reports that
“WorkSafe Victoria is tightening rules around quad bikes that will see them banned in workplaces unless appropriate rollover protection is fitted.”
Some of the argument over the last 24 hours has been around whether this means that CPDs are mandatory and, as always, cost.
Dr Tony Lower, Director of the Australian Centre for Agricultural Health and Safety has released his review of farm safety incident statistics for 2015. According to a media release (not yet online), Dr Lower found
“…there were 69 on‐farm injury deaths. The main causes continued to be quads, accounting for 15 cases (22%), with two of these involving children. This is the fifth year in a row where quads have been the leading cause of non‐intentional injury deaths on Australian farms.” Continue reading “Stats show quadbikes remain the leading cause of deaths on Australian farms”
The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) is an integral stakeholder in the improvement in the safety performance of quad bikes. However, some of its past strategies have been belligerent, divisive and have limited the safety debate. There are hints that the FCAI’s communication strategy has changed and this can only be for the better.
On October 1, 2015, FCAI issued a media release that was a gentle questioning of the Star Safety Rating program recently advocated by quad bike safety advocates and researchers. The FCAI says that the research on which the rating system is based
“…does not correlate with real world performance is premature and needs to be further explored.”