A coroner has recommended that Worksafe New Zealand considers developing the rules and regulations around the use of bungee cord gates on farms.

Dairy farmer Johnathon Madera died in 2016 after he sustained impact injuries to his chest and abdomen after crashing through a gate and into a metal fence.

Coroner Anna Tutton believes there is an opportunity to improve safety measures by improving the visibility of bungee gates.

Madera was bringing in cows to be milked around 5.45am on September 25. It was raining and it was still dark outside, impairing visibility.


He was found by a co-worker who heard the noise of the quad-bike and saw a gate sliding along the ground, creating sparks.

The 50-year-old was found trapped and emergency services were called to the scene and tried to resuscitate Madera. He later died in an ambulance.

"Such guidance may draw the attention of farmers to the dangers of using materials that are not 'high visibility', and encourage them to use materials that are 'high visibility'.

"The use of such materials may reduce the chances of further deaths occurring in circumstances similar to those in which Mr Madera died," Coroner Tutton said.

Worksafe reports that there are no standards or guidance in relation to taped or bungee-style gateways, which are used on many dairy farms throughout New Zealand.

Worksafe found that the owners had a bungee across the gateway since 2008, but they said the "weather, wear and tear, and mud" had affected its visibility.

"Had the bungee cord been more visible, the accident leading to Mr Madera's death might not have occurred," Coroner Tutton said.

"Tony Smith, Investigations Manager (Canterbury and West Coast), Worksafe, responded to that notification and advised that the Worksafe food practice guidance document "Safe Use of Quad Bikes" is due to be reviewed later this year."