01:30 pm, Tuesday 23 October, 2012
The summit on quad bike safety must be followed by action to make crush protection devices a requirement on new quad bikes to reduce quad bike death rates, says the Australian Council of Trade Unions.
ACTU Assistant Secretary Michael Borowick said it is time for the ACCC to act on making crush protection devices mandatory on all quad bikes sold in the country. In a separate SafetyCulture report, Mr Borowick said 160 people have already been killed in accidents involving quad bikes since 2001.
“At least half of these deaths have occurred when a quad bike flipped over and crushed its rider,” said Mr Borowick.
“Crush protection devices, such as rollbars, could have been installed at minimal cost and stopped these accidents becoming fatalities.
“We have enough evidence that crush protection devices can save lives, it is now time for Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to act.
“There are about 220,000 quad bikes in use in Australia, and they are the single biggest cause of workplace fatalities on farms.”
“They have inherent problems with stability, with some evidence indicating that they may roll over even on apparently flat terrain.
Similar roll-over protection devices that have been compulsory for tractors since 1992 have reduced fatalities by 80%,” said Mr Borowick.
“We don’t want to see quad bikes banned, but they must be made safer.
“We cannot wait for more people to die and we cannot wait for more ‘scientific research’ about the effectiveness of crush protection devices. There is enough evidence now to show there is a cheap and effective solution that would save lives.”