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 for work and recreation. 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 ACCC since 2011, 150 quad bike related deaths were reported in Australia:
- 46 per cent were work related
- 75 per cent occurred on a farm
- 23 per cent were children under 16 years
- Rollovers accounted for 60 per cent and collisions 26 per cent
- Each day, approximately 6 people present with quad bike related injury to hospital emergency departments per day
- In WA, in the same period, there were 12 quad bike related fatalities.
Quad bike injuries and deaths cause immense emotional and financial costs to families and communities.
What you need to know?
To help protect quad bike users, the Australian Government introduced a mandatory safety standard under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL): the Consumer Goods (Quad Bikes) Safety Standard 2019. The standard is introduced in October 2020 in two stages. For more information and resources about the Safety Standard.
Videos about the safety standard
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.
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
- Quad bikes - Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety - Consumer Protection
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