QuadWatch

QuadWatch is an Australian Government initiative to bring together industry, manufacturers, quad bike users, community organisations, and government to raise awareness of quad bike safety.

The QuadWatch webpage provides links to quad bike safety data and information, guidance material, other useful webpages and information, and contact details for the relevant work health and safety regulators.

More information can be found in the QuadWatch - Frequently Asked Questions.


Quad bike fatalities

In 2015, there were 21 quad bike fatalities (6 in Victoria, 4 each in Queensland, Western Australia and New South Wales, 3 each in Queensland and Tasmania, and 1 in the Northern Territory). Just over half (11) of the fatalities in 2015 were workplace related and the remaining (10) were recreational. Just over half (11) of the deaths were related to rollovers.

Quad bike fatalities table

Quad bike fatalities summaries


Latest news

29 August 2016 – Rebates now available for NSW farmers to improve quad bike safety

As part of SafeWork NSW’s Quad Bike Safety Improvement Program, eligible NSW farmers and their workers can now apply for a rebate of up to $500 to implement safety measures aimed at reducing quad bike deaths and injuries on farms.  The rebate can go towards training courses or the purchase of compliant helmets, operator protection devices or an alternative safer vehicle. 

More information, including on how to apply for the rebate, can be found through the NSW Farmers Association.  The rebates will be available until June 2017 unless exhausted prior.

29 August 2016 – WorkSafe Victoria partners with the Victorian Farmers Federation to offer farmers rebates for quad bike safety improvements

As part of a WorkSafe Victoria initiative, from 1 October 2016 eligible Victorian farmers may apply for up to $600 each to fit operator protection devices (OPD) on up to two quad bikes, or $1200 towards the cost of buying an alternative safer vehicle. 

More information, including on how to apply for the rebate, can be found through the Victorian Farmers Federation.  The rebates will be available for two years unless exhausted prior.

29 August 2016 - WorkSafe Victoria's new approach to make quad bike use safer

On 1 March 2016, WorkSafe Victoria announced a revised approach to quad bike use in order to reduce the number of fatalities and serious injuries in Victorian workplaces.

WorkSafe Victoria now accepts operator protection devices (OPD) fitted to a quad bike as part of the solution to controlling the risk to operators in the event of a rollover.  This means that if an employer wants to use a quad bike in the workplace – and there is a risk of rollover – WorkSafe Victoria will require a suitably designed and tested OPD to be fitted.

What does this mean?

If the duty holder under the law (usually the employer) has determined that there is a risk of the quad bike rolling over, they are obliged to eliminate the risk if they can (for example by stopping the task or using a different type of vehicle).  If the risk cannot be eliminated, then the employer must control the risk, so far as is reasonably practicable.

WorkSafe Victoria considers that rollover protection is a reasonably practicable risk control measure.  Enforcement of this requirement is expected to begin in mid-2017.     

Further information can be found on the WorkSafe Victoria website.

22 June 2016 – The University of New South Wales (UNSW) launches major new study and online survey on quad bike safety on farms and other workplaces

Farmers and other workers who ride quad bikes are being strongly encouraged by UNSW scientists to participate in a new on-line survey to assist with research into the safety of quad bike use in the workplace.

The independent Quad Bike Workplace Safety Survey is being undertaken by the Transport and Road Safety Research Centre at UNSW in response to a recommendation by a 2015 coronial inquiry in NSW into the deaths of 11 quad-bike riders in the state. The study is funded by SafeWork NSW.

The confidential UNSW survey, which takes between 15 and 25 minutes to complete, is on the website: UNSW Quad Bike Workplace Safety Survey.

The survey is open for two months, until the end of August. The results will be available in 2017.

22 June 2016 – WorkSafe Queensland Ride Ready campaign

Queensland has launched a quad bike safety public awareness campaign in a bid to cut the number of quad bike deaths and injuries. The campaign includes advertising, social media, films, resources, events and an online rider ready challenge.

Information about the campaign is at New State Government campaign to tackle quad bike safety

The campaign website, which includes a case study film Too fast, too soon – Domenic’s story, is at Ride Ready.

11 June 2016 – SafeWork NSW Quad Bike Safety Improvement Program

The NSW quad bike safety improvement program developed by SafeWork NSW and sponsored by the NSW Government offers support to NSW farmers to undertake harm prevention activities associated with on-farm use of quad bikes.

The Quad Bike Safety Improvement Program will include a rebate package commencing in July, to encourage and support farmers to adopt a range of harm prevention strategies. The NSW Government will be offering rebates of up to $500 towards the purchase of compliant helmets, operator protective devices, the purchase of a safer vehicle such as a side-by-side vehicle, and undertaking training courses tailored to farmers. 

3 March 2016 – Queensland Quad Bike Safety Plan 2016-2019

The Queensland Government has launched the Statewide Plan for Improving Quad Bike Safety in Queensland 2016-2019. The plan has been developed by the Quad Bike Interagency Group, consisting of ten Queensland Government agencies involved in the use and administration of quad bikes.
The plan acknowledges that quad bikes are used for both work and recreational purposes and aims to increase awareness of the risks associated with quad bikes and implement initiatives to mitigate these. The plan’s key priorities are:

  • Community education and awareness about quad bike safety risks 
  • Improving quad bike operator skill and safety, and
  • Government leadership in promoting quad bike safety.

Initiatives in the plan address the recent findings of Queensland Deputy State Coroner Lock and will ensure a more consistent and co-ordinated response to quad bike safety.
View the Statewide Plan for Improving Quad Bike Safety in Queensland 2016 – 2019

9 February 2016 – Release of University of Adelaide’s Centre for Automotive Safety Research report: Quad bikes in South Australia: an investigation of their use, crash characteristics and associated injury risks

8 February 2016 – Tasmania Coronial Inquest into deaths caused by quad bike accidents

An inquest into the deaths of riders of quad bikes between 10 November 2012 and 27 December 2015 is scheduled to start in April 2016, before Coroner Simon Cooper at Hobart Magistrate’s court.

26 November 2015 - NSW Coroner’s findings –Inquest into nine deaths caused by Quad Bike accidents

An inquest into nine quad bike related deaths in NSW was held by the Deputy State Coroner, Sharon Freund. The State Coroner’s Court of NSW released the findings of the inquest on 26 November 2015.

The Deputy State Coroner made recommendations in the areas of a quad bike safety rating system, Australian Standards for quad bikes, training and licensing, helmet use and standards, crush protection devices, seatbelts use for side-by side vehicles, personal locator beacons, children and quad bikes, advertising and educational campaigns and police investigations.

View the State Coroner of NSW Quad Bike Deaths Inquest Findings (pdf file).

26 November 2015 - Royal Australasian College of Surgeons - NSW Coroner adds weight to quad bike recommendations

Following the NSW Sate Coroner’s Court release of its Coronial Inquest findings into nine quad bike deaths the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons published a media release calling on the NSW Government to act swiftly on the recommendations handed down by the NSW Inquest especially in regard to strategies to prohibit children under the age of 16 from riding adult quad bikes, providing incentives for quad bike safety training and supporting a quad bike safety rating system.

View the Media release -NSW Coroner adds weight to quad bike recommendations

27 November 2015 - Farmers call for Quad Bike Safety Star Rating

Following the NSW Sate Coroner’s Court release of its Coronial Inquest findings into nine quad bike deaths the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) published a media release calling for the urgent introduction of a new safety star rating system for quad bikes and side-by-side vehicles.

View the Media release - Farmers call for Quad Bike Safety Star Rating

August 2015 - QLD Coroner’s findings –Inquest into nine deaths caused by Quad Bike accidents

An inquest into quad bike related deaths in Queensland was held by the Deputy State Coroner, John Lock. The QLD Coroner’s Court released the findings of the inquest on 3 August 2015.

The Coroner stated ‘the evidence gathered during this multiple inquest raises many issues about the safety of quad bikes, including the importance of active riding; good mechanical maintenance; use of correct tyre pressure; use of helmets; disallowing children to ride adult sized quad bikes; understanding the limitations of the vehicle; and that tragic incidents can occur in quite benign conditions’.

View the Office of the State Coroner Findings of the Inquest (PDF file).

August 2015 - Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Media Release: Surgeons call for action on child quad bike deaths

Monday 3 August 2015

In this media release the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons calls on the Queensland Government to act swiftly on the recommendations handed down by the QLD coronial inquest into quad bike deaths.

View the Royal Australian college of surgeons - media release (PDF file).

August 2015 - WorkCover NSW Media Release: Research to pave the way to reduce quad bike deaths

Monday 3 August 2015

In this media release WorkCover NSW reports that the University of NSW Transport and Road Safety Unit has released the results of a world-first testing and research project into quad bike safety. WorkCover NSW funded the $1.3 million Quad Bike Performance Project designed to quantify the stability and crash worthiness of quad bikes and assess their risks and performance.

View the Research to pave the way to reduce quad bike deaths - media release.

August 2015 - The University of NSW Transport and Road Safety (TARS) Research Unit Quad Bike Performance Project

Monday 3 August 2015

On 3 August 2015 The University of NSW Transport and Road Safety Unit (UNSW TARS) released results of their Quad Bike Performance Project. As a strategy to reduce injuries and fatalities from quad-bike use on farms, the Quad Bike Performance Project conducted by researchers from UNSW TARS aims to develop a consumer safety rating system for quad bikes. This strategy is part of a Heads of Workplace Safety Authorities (HWSA) attempt to reduce the high toll of fatal and serious injuries associated with the use of quad bikes in the farming environment. UNSW TARS state the results of this project will enable the development of a quad-bike safety rating system for stability, handling, and crashworthiness.

The five major project reports are available on the University of NSW - Transport and Road Safety website.


Coronial inquest findings

NSW Deputy Coroner’s Inquest into nine deaths caused by Quad Bike accidents

An inquest into nine quad bike related deaths in NSW was held by the Deputy State Coroner, Sharon Freund. The State Coroner’s Court of NSW released the findings of the inquest on 26 November 2015.

The Deputy State Coroner made recommendations in the areas of a quad bike safety rating system, Australian Standards for quad bikes, training and licensing, helmet use and standards, crush protection devices, seatbelts use for side-by side vehicles, personal locator beacons, children and quad bikes, advertising and educational campaigns and police investigations.

View the State Coroner of NSW Quad Bike Deaths Inquest Findings (PDF file).

QLD Deputy Coroner’s Inquest into nine deaths caused by Quad Bike accidents

An inquest into quad bike related deaths in Queensland was held by the Deputy State Coroner, John Lock. The QLD Coroner’s Court released the findings of the inquest on 3 August 2015.

The Coroner stated ‘the evidence gathered during this multiple inquest raises many issues about the safety of quad bikes, including the importance of active riding; good mechanical maintenance; use of correct tyre pressure; use of helmets; disallowing children to ride adult sized quad bikes; understanding the limitations of the vehicle; and that tragic incidents can occur in quite benign conditions’.

View the Office of the State Coroner Findings of the Inquest (PDF file).

New Zealand Inquest into quad bike fatalities

In 2013 New Zealand Coroner Brandt Shortland released his findings into five quad bike related fatalities. As part of his findings and recommendations, Coroner Shortland held a two day hearing with experts, industry leaders, motor industry executives, academics, professional educators and government regulators in April this year.

The Coroner's findings for each case are below:


Research reports and studies

Quad bikes in South Australia: an investigation of their use, crash characteristics and associated injury risks.

In February 2016 the University of Adelaide's Centre for Automotive Safety Research released the study Quad bikes in South Australia: an investigation of their use, crash characteristics and associated injury risks. The study, sponsored by SafeWork SA, examines the circumstances of fatal and non-fatal quad bike incidents in South Australia.

The report’s recommendations include:

NSW Government research

In August 2015 the University of NSW Transport and Road Safety Unit (UNSW TARS) released results of the NSW Government funded Quad Bike Performance Project. As a strategy to reduce injuries and fatalities from quad-bike use on farms, the Quad Bike Performance Project conducted by researchers from UNSW TARS aims to develop a consumer safety rating system for quad bikes.

The five major project reports are available on the University of NSW - Transport and Road Safety website.


Useful links

Information on quad bike safety published by work health and safety authorities

Related sites for additional quad bike information


More information

For more information or to contribute to QuadWatch contact Safe Work Australia:

Email: info@swa.gov.au

Phone: 1300 551 832

You can also subscribe to receive the latest news and updates on QuadWatch

Feedback

Questions should be emailed to info@swa.gov.au.

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