Safe Work Australia CEO Rex Hoy’s call for quad bike manufacturers to fit efficient crush protection devices (CPDs) should lead to strong regulatory action to reduce quad bike deaths and injuries, the ACTU said today.
ACTU assistant secretary Michael Borowick said that there had been enough talk on quad bike safety and it was time for the ACCC and State and Territory workplace safety bodies to act.
“There have been many, many preventable deaths and serious injuries from quad bikes. And it is not stopping. It is time to make quad bikes without CPDs illegal,” Mr Borowick said.
“Quad bikes without CPDs should not be operated. It is time for State workplace safety authorities to ensure that quad bikes in workplaces are equipped with CPDs, likewise the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission must ban the import of quad bikes without CPDs.
“Safe machinery is one of the absolute fundamentals of workplace safety.
Mr Borowick said the ACTU supported greater efforts at effective training, restriction of children on all quad bikes and the wearing of helmets, but said these measures were not a substitute for making quad bikes safer.
“Quad bike manufacturers and regulators have been saying these things are the answer for 25 years without cutting the death and injury toll,” Mr Borowick said.
“It is appalling that the industry accepts their machines are so unsafe that only special riding, which they call ‘active riding’, can save the rider. Yet they know that 90 per cent of riders will not be trained to do it, and CPDs are the only way to improve their safety in the event of a rollover.”
“Quad bikes are prone to roll over, as a coroner has written, and are unstable even on flat terrain.”
“Currently the only way to effectively reduce the death and injury toll from quad bikes is through CPDs.”
“It is unacceptable that the lack of action on this issue by regulators places many riders at mortal risk from quad bikes.”
“There are design requirements in Australia and there are safe plant regulations. Any breaches must lead to prosecutions, and it is time for regulatory authorities to start taking this problem seriously.”