Checking tyre pressure on quad bikes should be a fundamental health and safety process, says WorkSafe New Zealand.
The reminder comes after the sentencing of two businesses in Timaru District Court on August 5.
Dairy Holdings Limited and Coryston Limited were sentenced under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 following the death of their employee in September 2019.
The employee, Stacey Rodgers, died as a result of crushing injuries which occurred during a quad bike rollover.
A WorkSafe investigation found that the condition of the quad bike was consistent with an ATV that had been in regular use but had not been serviced for a prolonged period. The quad bike’s brakes, steering, suspension and front bull bar/bumper were all in need of servicing/repair.
The investigation concluded the quad bike was not fit for use in a farming environment as it was in need of mechanical repair.
“There are far too many preventable quad bike accidents happening across New Zealand. This is another tragic reminder that farm vehicles such as quad bikes must be regularly serviced and adequately maintained,” says area investigation manager Steve Kelly.
On average, five people die in work-related quad bike accidents each year and many more are injured. Most quad bike injuries and fatalities are caused by the quad bike rolling over.
WorkSafe strongly recommends businesses consider installing crush protection devices (CPDs) on the back of quad bikes.
“A CPD is a simple and valuable way of keeping users safe,” says Kelly.
“While the companies had purchased a CPD for the quad bike involved, this was not installed at the time of the accident. However, the poor maintenance and servicing of the machine would still have exposed users to significant risk.”
“Dairy Holdings needed to have developed, implemented, monitored and reviewed an effective safe system of work for employees operating the quad bike at Coryston Farm. Coryston should have ensured the quad bike was properly serviced and maintained,” says Kelly.
A fine of $247,500 was imposed, with 50% apportioned to Dairy Holdings Limited.
Reparations of $110,000 was ordered to be paid to the victim’s family and apportioned equally between Dairy Holdings Limited an Coryston Limited.