Safety alert 02/2009 - Farm worker killed in all-terrain vehicle incident

This publication is for: 
Employee / workerEmployer

A farm worker, employed through a labour hire agent, died of head injuries after he was thrown from an all-terrain vehicle (ATV), also know as a four wheel motorbike, agricultural (ag) bike or quad bike.

After rounding up sheep, the worker was heading back to the shed when he collided with a wire or 'cockies' gate across the road.  At the time of the incident, the farm worker was not wearing a helmet.

The deceased was working alone at the time. He was found on the ground by co-workers the next morning with serious head injuries.

Factors to consider

  • A farm worker was thrown from an ATV after he collided with a wire gate across the road.
  • The wire gate across the road was difficult to see.
  • The worker did not wear a helmet at the time of the incident.
  • The farm worker was employed by a labour hire agent.
  • At the time of the incident, the farm worker was working alone.


  • Ensure adequate personal protective equipment, such as an approved helmet, is provided to workers operating ATV’s.
  • Always wear an approved helmet when driving an ATV.
  • Ensure adequate information, instruction, supervision and training is provided to anyone likely to be operating ATV’s.
  • Be on the lookout for potential hazards when riding an ATV.  Hazards, including rocks, bumps, pipes, fences, undulations, wildlife and speed all have the potential to cause accidents.
  • Ensure any gates across roads are readily visible.
  • Ensure adequate procedures and means of contact are in place for employees who work alone.
  • Ensure so far as is practicable that persons trained in first aid are available to give first aid.

Further information

Further information can be obtained from WorkSafe’s website or by contacting customer service on 1300 307 877 or email

This Alert contains safety information following inquiries made by WorkSafe about an incident or unsafe practice. The information contained in this Alert does not necessarily include the outcome of WorkSafe’s action with respect to an incident. WorkSafe does not warrant the information in this Alert is complete or up to date and does not accept any liability to any person for the information in this report or as to its use.

Last updated 29 Jun 2017

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