Quad bike safety warning for young Queenslanders

Rural property owners have been urged to keep a watchful eye over children and teenagers in 2015 to ensure that they don’t join the growing list of those injured in quad bike accidents.

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland’s Agriculture Strategy group head Fiona O’Sullivan said that while quad bikes had become a staple of working life on many rural properties, users should always put their safety first while riding.

“Unfortunately quad bikes are now the leading cause of fatalities and serious injuries on farms and tragically many incidents have involved children and teenagers,” Ms O’Sullivan said.

“Six Queenslanders, including three children, died in 2014 while using quad bikes.

“Rider inexperience and not wearing a helmet often contributes to these deaths.

“Quad bikes are a valuable tool, but they should only be operated within their capabilities – using them otherwise can be extremely dangerous.

“Quad bikes have caused a number of deaths by crushing people during a rollover.”

Ms O’Sullivan also reminded users that quad bikes are not all-terrain vehicles and can be unstable when crossing rough terrain or traversing steep slopes because of their high centre of gravity.

"Farmers and others in control of rural workplaces have a responsibility to provide safe systems of work for workers and visitors,” she said.

“Adopting a safety-first attitude to quad bikes helped to ensure all riders, particularly young workers or children on holidays, remained unharmed.”

Proven safety tips include:

  • always wear a properly fitting helmet - around 35 per cent of fatalities involve head injuries
  • do not ride an adult-sized quad bike if you are under 16 years of age
  • ensure all riders are properly trained and able to confidently ride safely and responsibly
  • do not carry passengers unless there is a designated passenger seat - carrying a passenger restricts the ability of a rider to adopt the active riding techniques necessary to control the quad bike in all situations
  • reduce your speed, especially if riding over rough ground
  • stick to tracks and paths that you know
  • tell someone where you are going and what time you will be back
  • never ride a quad bike if you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

There are more tips on quad bike safety at www.worksafe.qld.gov.au and short films on YouTube.com/user/WorkSafeQueensland.