Positive changes reducing harm on farms

Issue 47 – March 2013

New research shows that farmers are making positive changes to reduce their chances of having a quad bike accident. In the survey of quad bike users by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), 16% more farmers reported some or all riders wearing helmets than in 2010. Quad bike helmet sales continue to increase, with sales almost doubling in the year to June 2012 from the previous year. This continues a trend that showed a similar increase in 2011.

'The Ministry is pleased to see this positive shift in behaviour in the agricultural sector,' says Ona de Rooy, General Manager Health and Safety Operations. This is also supported by a reduction in harm in the last 2 years. In the 2 years to June 2012, all ACC claims for quad bike accidents on farms have dropped 17%. In the same period, all ACC entitlement claims (representing serious harm) for quad bike accidents on farms have dropped 10%.

The survey of quad bike accident victims found that half of respondents had made changes to act more safely in their use of quad bikes since their accident. Changes included fewer people carrying passengers and an increased use of helmets.

'Despite these positive indicators, serious harm on farms continues to be a significant problem for New Zealand and we are determined to reduce the toll further. The Ministry is increasing its efforts over the summer months and inspectors will be visiting farms around the country to enforce safety issues and to provide guidance to farm employees,' de Rooy says.

'The Ministry's targeted quad bike campaign has made a significant impact on farmers' awareness of our key messages for keeping safe when using quads. This is one part of a wider initiative involving government, industry organisations and the sector to reduce harm.

'The combined efforts of farmers, industry representatives, and government are contributing to the positive changes we are seeing in the agricultural sector.'

→ View the two research reports, Quad Bikes: A look at the safety behaviour of accident victims (http://dol.govt.nz/publications/research/quad-bike-safety-behaviour-accident-victims/) and Quad Bike Harm Reduction Project: Indicators of progress to June 2012 (http://www.business.govt.nz/healthandsafetygroup/information-guidance/national-programmes/quad-bike-safety/monitoring-reports/quad-bike-harm-reduction-project-indicators-of-progress-to-june-2012)

More information on quad bike safety (http://www.business.govt.nz/healthandsafetygroup/information-guidance/national-programmes/quad-bike-safety) is available on MBIE's website

→ Read Quad bike case studies (http://www.business.govt.nz/healthandsafetygroup/information-guidance/national-programmes/quad-bike-safety/case-studies) on MBIE's website

→ Read Guidelines for the safe use of quad bikes (http://www.business.govt.nz/healthandsafetygroup/information-guidance/all-guidance-items/guidelines-for-the-safe-use-of-quad-bikes) on MBIE's website

Summarised from an MBIE media release, 4 February 2013.

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Published in consumer and occupational safety.