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Department of Labour investigates quad bike death in Wairoa

Published 01 Jan 2011

Media Release

7 January 2011

The Department of Labour has confirmed it is investigating the death of a man in a quad bike accident on Monday on a farm near Wairoa in northern Hawke's Bay.

The Department says it is too early to say what caused the accident, but it is a timely reminder of the significant toll quad bikes take on the farming community. Every year about 850 people are injured on farms riding quad bikes. Five die.

The Department is promoting four steps to prevent quad bike accidents:
  • Riders must be trained/experienced enough to do the job;
  • Don't let kids ride adult quad bikes: Bike makers say quads over 90cc shouldn't be ridden by under 16s;
  • Always wear a helmet ;
  • Choose the right vehicle for the job:
    • Stick to the towing & carrying limits
    • Most bike owners' manuals say passengers shouldn't be carried.
Farmers who don't follow these safety steps risk penalties under the Health and Safety in Employment Act if someone working on their farm is seriously injured.

The Department will pay particular attention to accidents involving farm workers.

"Quad bikes are often referred to as All Terrain Vehicles or ATVs, but they can't go everywhere and do everything," says the Department's Chief Adviser of Health and Safety, Dr Geraint Emrys.

"Riders need to respect their limits and follow the manufacturers' operating instructions."