Quad bike safety under spotlight

Farmers across the country have been targeted in a campaign to improve quad bike safety.
The Department of Labour has visited 162 farms over the past month as part of its campaign to make sure farmers and their workers are using quad bikes safely.
A total of 56 written warnings or improvement notices were issued.
On average, five people are killed and 850 people are injured each year while riding quad bikes on farms.
``Since April our inspectors have been out and about visiting farmers and their workers to give them information about safe quad bike use and provide them with copies of the Department's new safety guidelines,'' said Dr Geraint Emrys, the department's chief health and safety adviser.
``Where inspectors find people working with quad bikes in a dangerous way they have and will continue to take action. This can range from warnings or penalties, to stopping quad bikes being used until safety issues are fixed,'' Dr Emrys said.
In November last year the department started its Harm Reduction campaign to raise awareness about quad bike safety, focusing on four key areas which encourage people to choose the right vehicle for the job, always wear a helmet, don't let children ride adult quad bikes, and ensure riders are trained or experienced enough to do the job.
``Farms are workplaces and farmers have a responsibility to ensure the health and safety of their staff,'' Dr Emrys said.
``The department will consider prosecution where a worker has been seriously ill or killed at work because key safety steps have not been taken.
``Previous campaigns have failed to bring down the quad bike death and injury toll on farms, and while enforcement is only one step, farmers must realise that there may be consequences if someone is seriously injured or killed while riding a quad bike at work,'' he added.
The farm visits will continue until June, and the quad bike safety campaign will continue until late 2013 with regular reviews and ongoing monitoring and enforcements.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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