Quad bike users are being offered a new subsidy towards the purchase of a Crush Protection Device by ACC in a bid lower the statistics of fatality and injury involving the machines at rural Kiwi workplaces.
According to ACC, each year quad bikes are a major cause of death and serious injury with many incidents associated with accidental rollovers. “On average each year five people die, and ACC receives more than 1000 claims for work-related quad bikes accidents, costing $12 million.”
The subsidy was announced last month shortly after Worksafe NZ made a policy clarification – that it strongly recommends a crush CPD be installed on all quad bikes used for work.
Industry groups Federated Farmers and Beef + Lamb NZ support Worksafe’s new CPD policy but the Motor Industry Association does not advise retro-fitting CPDs on quads that are not designed for them by the manufacturers. “This is not safe practice.”
Meanwhile some farmers are calling for fitting of CPDs to quad bikes to be compulsory.
Currently, Worksafe says the use of CPDs will not be enforced – although discussions on the potentially life-saving devices will be taken up by WorkSafe staff when visiting farms and other workplaces across the country as a part of their assessments activity.
Worksafe’s general manager of better regulation and legal Mike Hargreaves says CPDs fitted to a quad bike provide a survivable space should a rider be pinned underneath it.
“Between January 2000 and October 2017, we know 81 people have been killed in quad bike accidents while at work.
“Data reveals these accidents can happen on almost any part of the property – and to experienced and inexperienced riders. In many incidents the worker is crushed or unable to escape due to the weight of the bike, contributing to fatal or life-changing injuries. It’s our view CPDs are likely to prevent serious and fatal injuries.”
But Mike says it’s important farmers and others don’t treat CPDs as a ‘fit and forget’ solution. “The devices do not take the place of training, maintenance, protective gear, vehicle selection, or careful use of quad bikes, but they can provide some protection in the event of rollover.”
ACC’s subsidy applies to two brands of CPD – Quadbar NZ and Lifeguard – for self-employed and small to medium businesses in targeted sub-sectors at the highest injury rate, which includes beef, sheep and dairy farming.
The subsidy offer is $180 per CPD with a maximum of two CPD purchases per business, including self-employed. “This is approximately 15-30 per cent cost discount, depending on what product is chosen.” The subsidy will be available for 12 months, but ACC will review uptake after six months.