A quad bike accident survivor says new WorkSafe quad safety recommendations do not go far enough.

Yesterday, WorkSafe announced it ''strongly recommends'' the use of crush protection devices (CPDs) such as rollover bars on the back of quad bikes.

The announcement - which has been endorsed by Federated Farmers - strengthens WorkSafe guidelines, which from 2014 had stated fitting such devices was ''a matter of personal choice''.

Although the change was a move in the right direction, it did not go far enough, South Otago farmer Douglas Jack said.


Jack, who owns a 400ha sheep and beef farm at Hillend, near Balclutha, is the survivor of two quad bike accidents - something he attributes to his use of a rollover bar.

In April last year, he sustained minor injuries to his hand and arm after hitting a swede while fencing on his farm, and rolling sideways on a moderate slope.

In January this year, he missed a gear and rolled his quad over backwards on a steep slope near Tussock Creek while mustering, bruising his back, but otherwise emerging unscathed.

''I've no doubt the bar saved my life both times,'' he said.

''There's absolutely no two ways about it. Fitting some sort of rollover safety device is the only way to reduce the death toll from quads, and I believe WorkSafe should make it compulsory for all bikes to be fitted with one.

''Workers should refuse to ride the damn things unless they're fitted.''

In its announcement, WorkSafe said between January 2000 and October 2017, 81 people were killed in quad bike accidents while at work.

An average of five people die in work-related quad bike incidents each year.


WorkSafe spokesman Mike Hargreaves said the organisation had revised its position after failing to see an improvement in accident rates since 2014.

''Data reveals these accidents can happen on almost any part of the property, and to experienced and inexperienced riders. In many of the incidents the worker is crushed or unable to escape due to the weight of the bike, contributing to fatal or life-changing injuries.

''It's important farmers and others don't treat these as a fit-and-forget solution. The devices do not take the place of training, maintenance, protective gear, vehicle selection, or the careful use of quad bikes, but they can provide some protection in the event of rollover.''

The use of CPDs would ''not be enforced at this time'', although it would be actively encouraged during WorkSafe workplace visits.

ACC was working with WorkSafe to design a targeted subsidy for the purchase of CPDs, likely to be launched by the end of July, Hargreaves said.

Federated Farmers president Katie Milne said the federation was ''on board'' with the new guidelines.

''We support WorkSafe's policy clarification. For some time Federated Farmers has been saying CPDs, or rollover protection as it used to be called, can be a very useful injury prevention option in many but not all farm settings.

''There is still some debate about CPDs, including from quad bike manufacturers who say they are unsafe, and those who say the device itself can cause injury in some circumstances. But, like WorkSafe, Federated Farmers believes there is now enough evidence from credible sources to say farmers should at least be considering them.''