Greater focus on how quad bikes and other farm vehicles are used is a necessary change to farm health and safety inspections, says Vanessa Winning, DairyNZ’s general manager for Farm Performance.
“We see injuries and fatalities from quad bikes in particular far too frequently within our farming communities,” says Ms Winning. “We all need to be looking more closely at the vehicles we use on farm and consider what’s the safest vehicle for the job.
“DairyNZ has already removed most quad bikes from its research farms because there are safer ways for our staff to move around the farm.
“Getting people to really think about what farm vehicles they use, and whether the vehicles are being used safely, is a behavioural change we need to start seeing now. The sector’s fatality and injury rates are just too high.
“It’s good to get these conversations going, but we know that education alone won’t change the way people use quad bikes. We also need to see roll over protect bars and other safety devices becoming commonplace on farm vehicles.
“DairyNZ supports Worksafe’s new initiative Safer Vehicles, Safer Farms to help farmers make the right decisions when using vehicles. We want all people on-farm to go home to their families safe and well at the end of every day.”