Quad bikes are a leading cause of worker injury and death in the agriculture industry.  

Before using a quad bike, make sure you understand how to use it safely. 

WHS duties  

Everyone in the workplace has WHS duties under the model WHS Act.  

You have specific duties if you are: 

  • a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) 

  • a principal contractor 

  • a designer, manufacturer, importer, supplier and installer of plant, substances or structures 

  • an officer. 

The model WHS Regulations have duties that apply to the use of quad bikes. This includes managing risks of powered mobile plant.  

As a PCBU, you must, so far as is reasonably practicable:  

  • ensure the health and safety of workers and others at your workplace  

  • consult with workers who carry out work for the business or undertaking and who are (or are likely to be) directly affected by a health and safety matter, and 

  • consult, cooperate and coordinate activities with all other relevant duty holders 

A quad bike might not be right for the job 

Before you use a quad bike, consider whether it’s the right vehicle for the job. Think about: 

  • the type of terrain you will work on 

  • whether you need to tow an attachment or carry a load 

  • how many people will work on the job 

  • whether a different vehicle might be more suitable. 

Most quad bikes are designed for one rider. You should never carry a passenger on a single operator quad bike. 

If you need more than one person for a job, a quad bike may not be the right vehicle to use. 

Alternative vehicles to quad bikes 

You may find these other vehicles more suitable for some jobs: 

  • side-by-side vehicles – the operator stays seated and they have safety features like rollover protective structures and seat belts. 

  • motorbikes – their mobility and lighter weight makes them ideal for some tasks. 

Training for quad bikes 

Quad bike training helps riders know quad bikes risks and active riding techniques. It can be workplace or task specific, public or private. 

You can get general training from: 

  • suppliers 

  • manufacturers 

  • industry training providers. 

You and your workers can also do training in a national unit of competency to operate quad bikes through a registered training organisation (RTO). When you finish the training, the RTO will issue a statement of attainment (or equivalent). 

A WHS regulator may ask to see a statement of attainment or equivalent to prove you or your workers know how to safely operate a quad bike. 

Depending on your circumstances, informal ‘on the job’ training may also be useful. 

Some states and territories offer subsidised training. Contact your WHS regulator to see if you’re eligible and for more details.  

Children and quad bikes 

Almost 1 in 7 fatal quad bike incidents involve children under 16 years.  

You should never: 

  • carry children as passengers on single operator quad bikes – this increases risk of rollover accidents 

  • allow children under 16 to ride adult-sized quad bikes – you may face criminal charges under WHS laws. 

Using quad bikes on public roads 

You cannot get your quad bike unconditionally registered for use on public roads. Quad bikes don’t comply with the Australian Design Rules. 

If you need to use your quad bike on a public road – for example, to travel between farms – contact your state or territory government department.  

They may offer conditional registration or licensing for quad bikes.