Safe Work Australia Urges 4-Wheeler Manufacturers to Add Crush Protection

Overturns of the vehicles are the leading cause of death on Australian farms, CEO Rex Hoy said recently.

Safe Work Australia CEO Rex Hoy is asking "quad bike" manufacturers to immediately reconsider their position on installing crush protection devices to these all-terrain vehicles to prevent deaths and injuries from overturn accidents, which are the leading cause of death on Australian farms.

"With over an estimated 220,000 quad bikes in Australia and more than 150 Australians from the ages of 4 to 94 dying from quad bike incidents since 2001, we need to work together to improve safety for quad bike users," Hoy said. "There are on average 14 quad bike-related deaths on Australian farms every year. If we don't act immediately, more of our sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, and friends will be dead from quad bike incidents."

Since the Quad Bike Safety Forum initiated by Minister Shorten in October 2012, nine more deaths in quad bike accidents have occurred, he said. "Their families and the communities they live in will suffer with these losses forever. The tragedy behind this figure is some of these nine deaths could have been prevented. Action in the last six months could have saved lives. I commend the continuing efforts of the Australian Workers' Union, Australian Council of Trade Unions, National Farmers Federation, the manufacturer Odes, and state and territory regulators to make these vehicles safer for users. However the time has come to immediately improve the stability of quad bikes and reduce the risks of injury in cases of the typical rollover."

According to the agency, quad bike fatalities represent an annual cost to society of at least $30 million per year, not including the costs associated with life-changing injuries such as spinal, head, and major fracture injuries.

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