A coroner is calling on the Government to investigate making helmets, lap belts and roll bars compulsory on quad bikes.

Wellington coroner Ian Smith issued his findings into the death of 21 year-old beekeeper Jody Santos, who was catapulted off his quad bike in Masterton in August, 2008, yesterday. He died in hospital three days later.

Mr Smith's decision has been sent to Transport Minister Stephen Joyce and Labour Minister Kate Wilkinson. A spokesman for Ms Wilkinson said Mr Smith was an "interventionist" and was asking for something that had already been done.

A spokeswoman for Mr Joyce referred the Herald to the Department of Labour who declined to comment as they had not yet received Mr Smith's finding.

Mr Smith acknowledged an education campaign on quad bike safety by the Department of Labour was under way but said, "I still do not believe that it goes far enough".

He said helmets, roll bars and lap belts all needed to be investigated.

In his finding, Mr Smith included the Department of Labour's response to his call for roll bars.

The Ministry said quad bike manufacturers have said roll bars could increase the likelihood of serious injuries. It said fitting roll bars should remain a "personal choice" for farmers.

The Ministry said helmets were required to be worn when a quad bike is used for work.

However, it said seatbelts were not practical as the quad bike rider had to move in the seat to change his or her centre of gravity and a lap belt was not practical.

Mr Smith, who did not agree, said the department and authorities needed to put pressure on manufacturers to ensure roll bars were fitted.

"It is not rocket science," Mr Smith said.

He welcomed the use of helmets but said the department's reason for not implementing seatbelts was "not accepted".

"I do not believe that they could hamper manoeuvrability on the machine to the degrees being emphasised."

Mr Smith said the authorities had failed to act on coroners' recommendations on quad bike safety in the past.

He said 122 people had died on quad bikes between January 1, 2000, and July 21, 2010, and there had been more deaths since then.

Mr Smith said the 260kg bikes have over the years become the general "farm workhorse", because they are flexible and easy to ride.

"Unfortunately, there have been a large amount of injuries and fatalities with their operation," Mr Smith said.

"I accept that the farming community may rail against these recommendations, but I hold to the view that a mandatary programmed implementation providing roll bars and lap belts be instigated," he said.

Federated Farmers president Don Nicolson said the issue of lap belts and roll bars had been researched before.

He said "guidelines and recommendations" are the way to go - not legislation.

Mr Santos' employer PA and SC Steens Ltd was fined $78,000 and has been ordered to pay $60,000 reparation to his family.

Mr Santos had been employed by the company for only two weeks. He had limited experience on quad bikes and had been given a 10-15 minute lesson before the crash.

"This is yet another unnecessary death that has occurred from the riding of these types of machines," Mr Smith said.

* PA and SC Steens Ltd have made changes. The company which employed Mr Santos now makes its employees wear helmets on quad bikes. Staff also have to take a course in using a quad bike and the company has built a track at their headquarters so skills are maintained.