Minister Shorten announces plans for quad bike restrictions at workplaces

Date: Jan 03, 2013

It is always good to see politicians advocating improved health and safety protocols in the workplace.

Injuries at work can be costly to both the employer and the employee, and often have long-lasting consequences for the victim.

While workers compensation can help people to cover the cost of an injury – in terms of lost wages, medical bills, personal trauma and so forth – people who suffer catastrophic injury at work may never be able to return to their profession again.

The best cure is prevention, and sometimes safety measures need to be tightened to help ensure that the risk of injury is minimised.

Minister for employment and workplace relations Bill Shorten has proposed a ban on quad bikes in workplaces for all people aged 16 years and under.

Mr Shorten said that this is partly due to the fact that approximately 20 per cent of quad bike deaths involve children in this age bracket.

He is going to work with Safe Work Australia to try and implement the ban, which will complement existing safety information issued by manufacturers.

“Manufacturers already have explicit warnings on full size quad bikes regarding age restriction recommendations, but we want to take these one step further and formally ban the use of full size quad bikes in workplaces for anyone under 16 years,” Mr Shorten said in a statement.

This statement comes after the release of findings from an October Discussion Paper and the Quadwatch forum. These results are available on the Safe Work Australia website.

Mr Shorten added that although officials are working to tighten quad bike laws and regulations, the users are still partly responsible for their own safety.

“For the users the responsibilities are to wear a helmet, not to carry passengers and not to let children ride quad bikes,” he explained.

Manufacturers are also expected to do more from their end to better ensure the safety of these vehicles.

“The designers and manufacturers of these vehicles must improve the design of quads so they are not prone to roll over and some form of crush protection device is required to reduce the potential for death and injury as a result of a crush or asphyxiation when they do roll,” Mr Shorten said.

For more information about this you can visit Mr Shorten’s website or contact Safe Work Australia.

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