WorkSafe targets quad bikes

By Country News

WorkSafe has started an enforcement campaign to reduce the risks associated with quad bike rollovers.

From this month, if a risk of rollover is identified during a workplace inspection and an employer has not taken reasonably practicable measures to control the risk, an improvement notice may be issued.

An assessment of what tasks the quad bike is used for and where it operates will be undertaken, to determine whether there is a risk of rollover.

Any employer who fails to comply with an improvement notice risks prosecution for breaching the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Victorian Finance Minister Robin Scott has urged farmers to take advantage of the $6million quad bike rebate scheme, which is managed by the VFF in partnership with WorkSafe.

‘‘WorkSafe enforcement activities are now under way,’’ he said.

‘‘I urge farmers to take advantage of the quad bike rebate scheme to help keep themselves, their employees and their families safe.’’

‘‘Quad bikes are used in many workplaces and employers must make sure that reasonably practicable safety measures are in place.

‘‘Nothing is more important than workplace safety.’’

So far, the quad bike rebate scheme has paid out almost $2.8million to either fit suitable rollover protection devices on more than 1820 quad bikes or to help pay for more than 1235 appropriate vehicles, such as side by sides.

WorkSafe’s acting executive director of health and safety Paul Fowler said WorkSafe would continue to work with farmers and other workplaces in relation to the risks associated with quad bikes.

However, he emphasised that potential enforcement action was now a reality for those who did not put reasonably practicable safety measures in place.

‘‘A WorkSafe enforcement notice may not be welcomed by some, but it is nothing compared to the trauma of dealing with a fatality or serious injury that may result if the risks associated with quad bike use are not fully addressed,’’ Mr Fowler said.