News

Act to reduce risks

By Country News

Victorian farmers are being urged to get quad bike protection now as WorkSafe inspectors ramp up on-farm safety inspections this month.

VFF president David Jochinke reminded farmers access to quad bike rebates had been on offer through the VFF for the past 16 months.

The VFF administered quad bike protection rebate program has to-date provided 3059 farmers with rebates either for purchasing a safer option or to have rollover protection devices fitted to existing bikes.

‘‘WorkSafe are now ramping up farm safety inspections this month with inspectors adding quad bikes to the safety audit checklist,’’ Mr Jochinke said.

‘‘These inspectors will be assessing the tasks that quad bikes perform on-farm and the terrain they are operating in to determine risk of roll over.’’

If WorkSafe inspectors find the tasks and terrain performed by a quad bike are not safe, the farm owner may then be issued with an improvement notice.

‘‘Through the rebate program, we have allocated nearly $2.75 million in funds to farmers in Victoria, however, we know there are many farmers out there still riding quad bikes without protection,’’ Mr Jochinke said.

‘‘With about 20 per cent of farm deaths occurring each year due to quad bike rollovers, we can only encourage farmers to consider any means to reduce this risk.

‘‘As farmers we have to do everything we can to reduce the appalling rate of death and serious injury across our industry.’’

The rebate program is open until September.

■To find out more and to apply for a quad bike rebate, phone 1300 882 833 or visit bequadsafe.com.au