What is a quad bike?
A quad bike (a four-wheeled motorbike) may be defined as – 'Any motorised off-highway vehicle designed to travel on four low pressure tyres, having a seat designed to be straddled by the operator and handlebars for steering control and intended for use by a single operator and no passenger'.
Quad bikes are popular and useful machines. A quad bike can be a useful and enjoyable piece of equipment but it can have serious safety risks when used incorrectly.
According to the Media Monitors Report Quad Related Deaths and Injuries in Australia 2013, quad bikes are a significant cause of death and injury, as follows:
- there were 21 reported deaths involving quad bikes with 15 of these occurring on a farm and 11 resulting from a rollover;
- additionally, there were 78 reported non-fatal quad bike related injury events with 39 of these occurring on a farm, 30 the result of a rollover and 21 involving children; and
- of the 21 deaths, I occurred in WA and 9 of the 78 injury events happened in WA.
The emotional and financial cost of these deaths and injuries to families and communities is immense.
WorkSafe WA has endorsed a useful handbook developed by WorkSafe Victoria to encourage the safe use of quad bikes. It outlines legal requirements and strategies to ensure the safe operation of quad bikes.
While this handbook focuses on quad bike use on farms, it is a useful reference for all people who operate, or manage those who operate on, quad bikes. WorkSafe WA encourages all people involved with quad bikes (including parents, farmers, contractors, workers, employers and sole operators) to read – and act on - this handbook and make quad bike fatalities and injuries a thing of the past.
What you need to know?
A useful download for on-farm use of quad bikes is the brochure – Quad bike use: What you need to know.
The brochure highlights things you need to consider before purchasing a quad bike, as follows:
- Find out whether a quad bike is the best vehicle option for your farm.
- All riders should undertake an accredited training course.
- You must ensure that anyone using a quad bike on your farm has appropriate information, training and supervision.
- Supervise all inexperienced operators.
- Always wear a helmet when operating a quad bike.
For specific Western Australian occupational health and safety (OSH) requirements, refer to the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 and the Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1996.
For information about the registration and licensing of quad bikes in Western Australia, contact the Department of Transport.
Useful references and downloads
• A handbook for workplaces - Quad bikes on farms
• Quad bike safety - What you need to know (Brochure)
• Quad bike safety - What you need to know (Poster)
• Farm vehicle pre-purchase checklist – choosing the right vehicle for the job
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