Roll over protection will limit quad bike fatalities
WHEN the National Rural Health Alliance (NRHA) sent a delegation to Federal Parliament, quad bike safety was a top priority and for good reason.
According to the NRHA, quad bike accidents now account for the single largest cause of fatalities on Australian farms with 10 people losing their lives this year.
The alliance believes those deaths were preventable and has thrown its support behind the Mt Isa Statement on Quad Bike Safety which calls for the Federal Government to mandate an Australian crush protection device as design standard for roll-over protection on all quad bikes and for manufacturers to comply with those specifications.
Rural Doctors Association of Queensland secretary Dan Halliday said there were a variety of reasons for quad bike accidents and crush protection devices could save lives.
"We do see people admitted to hospital as a result of quad riding injuries, which can range from soft tissue injuries to fractures burns and major internal and head injuries," he said.
"There are a variety of circumstances causing the accidents, ranging from rider inexperience in the case of children or farm visitors to riders being unaware of dangers like instability on sloping ground.
Dr Halliday said another vital piece of safety equipment he strongly urged riders to use was a helmet.
"Some of the reasons people don't wear helmets, particularly on a property, is they can be limiting in vision, hot and uncomfortable," he said.
"Helmets reduce the incidence of serious head injury caused by quad roll overs and we can encourage their use but, at the end of the day, it is up to people to wear them."
Dr Halliday also said it was important to ensure a quad was the correct vehicle for the task at hand.
"In some cases, they are used for a purpose they are not designed for so people need to ask themselves is it the most appropriate vehicle to complete the work or is it the right tool for the job," he said.
"With a crush protection device, appropriate safety equipment and operation of the machine within its' limits, the risk of serious injury is significantly reduced."