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Quad bike safety plea

FOSTER resident Tony Byers was working as a dairy farm hand in Fish Creek in December 2010 when he was injured in a quad bike accident.
He moved cattle using a quad bike that had a 100 litre spray tank fixed to the back, with about 70 litres of spray.
“As I was going up the hill, the back wheel hit a rut or a hole, and upset the balance of the bike. I remember lying on my back and the bike coming over the top of me,” he said.
“I put my left arm up to protect myself as the bike was coming over the top of me. I fended the bike off and it rolled down the bottom of the hill.”
The accident left Mr Byers with severe injuries, including a dislocation of his left shoulder and collarbone. His injuries have required a range of treatment including a ligament graft and physiotherapy.
“My shoulder will never, ever be right. My doctors keep telling me to manage it. I can’t do any above head work,” he said.
Mr Byers has ridden motorbikes and quad bikes for many years, but since the accident, has sold his quad bike.
He thinks the accident could have been avoided if he was using a quad bike without the spray tank attachment.
He also thinks his injuries could have been avoided if there was a roll bar attached to the quad bike.
“They’re a great tool, you can’t live without them as a farmer, but obviously they can be dangerous,” Mr Byers said.
He believes manufacturers need to be careful about how they market the bikes to avoid giving the impression they can do anything on any terrain.
He also thinks there should be a safety campaign and better training available to ensure riders know how to use quad bikes safely.
Law firm Maurice Blackburn sees clients every year who are injured in quad bike accidents.
Maurice Blackburn Lawyers’ Claire Barrance said accidents involve people who have been injured at work, as well as those who ride recreationally.
“Quad bikes are a common and popular feature on farms, but they do have a tendency to rollover, resulting in deaths and serious injuries,” she said.
“Quad bike accidents affect people of all ages, with a higher proportion of men injured.
“Of particular concern is that children are at an increased risk of serious injury and death. Last year, three boys aged under 12 were killed in quad bike accidents.
“Any quad bike death is a tragedy, and more needs to be done to alert people to the need for further safety measures to reduce fatalities and improve safety.”
Ms Barrance said everyone who uses quad bikes should take extra care and wear personal protective equipment including helmets.
“Passengers should not be allowed on quad bikes and children should not be allowed to operate adult quad bikes,” she said.
“Riders are advised not to carry or tow loads, as loading of the quad bike has been associated with rollover deaths.
“It’s also important to conduct regular maintenance work on your quad bike, and ensure any repairs are undertaken by qualified repairers.”
According to the Australian Centre for Agricultural Health and Safety, since 2001 more than 190 Australians have died in quad related incidents
Quads are now the leading cause of non-intentional injury and death on Australian farms, outranking tractors.
Deaths are evenly distributed between rollovers, where asphyxiation/ crush injury are common and non-rollovers, where the victim is flung onto a hard surface as a result of a quad bike crash.
Almost nine out of every 10 rollover deaths occur on a farm.
Ms Barrance said depending on the circumstances of each incident, people injured in a quad bike accident may be eligible for support through the TAC or WorkCover schemes.

Well alert: Tony Byers of Foster knows the dangers of using a quad bike, having been involved in a serious accident.

Well alert: Tony Byers of Foster knows the dangers of using a quad bike, having been involved in a serious accident.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=15496

Posted by on Jul 14 2015. Filed under Rural News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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