[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.
According to the Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations, Grace Grace, the government intends
“…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.
Continue reading “Queensland plans for a safety culture for quad bikes”
In June 2015 a research report was presented to a traffic safety conference in Gothenburg, Sweden that is set to reignite the debate on quad bike or all terrain vehicle (ATV) safety in Australia.
The paper entitled “The Australian Terrain Vehicle Assessment Program (ATVAP)” (Paper No.15-0144-W in the Technical Papers section of the
Australian research has provided an important additional element to discussions on the safety of using quad bikes as work vehicles on Australian farms. According to a media release to be published on 3 April 2013 from the Australian Centre for Agricultural Health and Safety (ACAHS):
“This conservative estimate draws on deaths data from the National Coroners Information System and includes projected losses in future earnings, impacts on household contributions, insurance payments, investigation and hospital costs…. The average cost was $A2.3 million, with the highest average being in those aged 25-34 years at $A4.2 million”.
On 19 October 2012 in a video address to an Australian forum on quad bike safety, the US Consumer Product Safety Commissioner Robert Adler stated
“We at the US CPSC are monitoring your activities closely with the hope that what you learn can help us back here in the United States.”
That places considerable attention on the safety initiatives and negotiations in Australia but also may indicate that the United States is struggling to achieve change in this area.
On October 17 2012, the Weekly Times devoted its front page, a double page spread and its editorial to the safety of quad bikes, or All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs). The editorial called on the Government to
“…mandate all ATVs are fitted with roll-over protection ..[and to] provide a rebate to allow retro-fitting of roll-over protection to existing ATVs.”
ABC News provided an excellent summary of the issues associated with quad bike safety in its news report on 17 October 2011 and showed some scary images of young children riding quad bikes.
Following the forum, Australia’s Workplace Relations Minister, Bill Shorten issued a media statement outlining to the outcomes. It stated:
“The Minister said he has asked Safe Work Australia to report on the key findings of the quad bike issues paper and today’s forum, and that he would direct Comcare*, the Commonwealth workplace safety regulator, to immediately implement the following:
At the end of August 2012, Australia’s Minster for Workplace Relations, Bill Shorten, released a discussion paper on quad bike safety. The intention of the discussion paper is a:
“…calls for submissions on potential improvements to quad bike safety to reduce the alarming rate of quad bike fatalities and injuries….
The comments received will be discussed at a one day forum between all levels of government, farming organisations, unions, industry and community groups to be held in October 2012.”
The paper is fairly thin on details and is certainly not like other discussion papers which present a current state of knowledge or present a set of circumstances that comments are wanted on. But most of the quad bike safety research is readily available on the internet so, perhaps Minister Shorten is acknowledging this reality and the intelligence of those interested in this issue. The paper poses the following questions: Continue reading “The Australian Government looks to apply “above-the-line” safety to quad bikes”