Quad Bike Safety News
Welcome to Quad Bike Safety News, a six-weekly update from the Department of Labour about quad bike news, information and events to help reduce accidents on farms.
Changes here at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE)
As you’ll likely know, the former Department of Labour became part of the new Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment on 1 July this year. Now known as the Labour Group in the new Ministry, we continue to deliver the same health and safety services and our focus remains on our harm reduction programmes, including the Quad Bike Safety Campaign.
Update on the campaign
The 2012 Autumn enforcement phase of the quad bike initiative has now been completed. During this third phase there were 528 assessments with 92 repeat visits and 241 enforcement/compliance actions werby our Health and Safety inspectors – including six infringement notices. As ae taken lways, the Ministry aims to drive home the message that quad bike injuries (and deaths) can be prevented. They are not part of the job. And although quad bikes both here and overseas are referred to as ATVs – all terrain vehicles – they cannot go everywhere nor do everything.
We reported last issue that inspectors noted the move towards other vehicles on the farm when the tasks were more suited to a different approach than the quad bike approach. That trend is encouraging.
Over 1300 farm assessments have been made by the Ministry’s inspectors throughout the campaign to date.
What’s happening over the next 12 months:
Over the next year we will be keeping quad bike safety in our sights and sticking with our focus on the project’s four key messages. Our inspectors will still be visiting farms to ensure the right safety steps are being taken, taking appropriate enforcement action where needed.
We will keep working with key industry players and stakeholders to promote safe quad bike use and a better farm safety culture. The role of good maintenance systems is one practice we’d like to see more widely promoted across the sector.
What the inspectors are saying about the campaign:
It was evident that farmers were expecting follow ups and revisits. They were “very aware” of the enforcement part of the initiative. Interestingly in areas such as Nelson, there were “pockets” of non-compliance by farmers (not wearing helmets, carrying passengers and so forth) amidst a generally very compliant agricultural population.
On the completion of the third phase, a key piece of feedback noted that it was not just farmers and farm workers that were becoming more aware of the need for a greater focus on quad bike safety – it was their family and friends as well as the general population. A raft of comments that supported the Ministry of Labour were observed on one person’s Facebook page in response to his gripe against the Ministry for issuing him with a warning for not wearing a helmet on his quad.
The four main safety messages:
Field Days June 2012
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s General Manager responsible for Health and Safety in the Central Region, Ona de Rooy, attended the recent Field Days at Mystery Creek and noting that people’s perception of the safety of quad bikes had changed.
“The conversation has shifted,” she says. “In the first year of the Quad Bike Safety project there was little discussion around the four key messages. This year I have spoken with employers who were voicing their concerns about ensuring their employees complied with the guidelines for the safe use of quad bikes. On the other hand, employees were quite vocal of their concerns around making sure their employers were providing the correct personal protective equipment.”
“While there’s recognition that we are still in the early stages with this initiative,” Ms de Rooy says, “it’s very promising to witness first-hand the attitude shift in the agricultural sector.”
Field days also saw quad bike safety brought in to focus during the innovation awards ceremony. The prestigious Golden Standard award which recognises excellence in innovation was awarded to Vernon Suckling of Ag Tech Industries Ltd with the invention of the “LifeGuard” ATV Rollframe.
The Innovation Centre is the showcase for the best industry developments and inventions for improving New Zealand farming practices – and Mr Suckling’s invention was recognised as a huge improvement on existing roll frames.
This is a space we will watch keenly.
ACC quad bike injury survey
ACC has carried out a survey of ACC claimants who had suffered quad bike accident injuries. ACC’s ethics committee has approved the survey which has asked claimants about their experiences before and after their quad bike accidents. Results have been analysed and a report is due to be released this year.
New funding to improve workplace health and safety
In May the Labour Minister announced a substantial package of new funding to improve New Zealand’s workplace health and safety system – this funding flows through to the new Ministry.
The principal elements of the Minister’s announcement were:
- $37 million of new funding over the next four financial years to boost Labour Group frontline capability
- The funding will come from unallocated revenue from the Health and Safety levy
- A target of a 25 percent reduction in workplace deaths and serious harms by 2020
- A strategic review of the health and safety system to ensure it is fit for purpose led by an independent taskforce which is being formed.
Lesley Haines, the head of workplace health and safety for MBIE, said that the funding would make a real difference to how the Ministry delivers its frontline health and safety services, and will enhance support to projects such as the Quad Bike Safety Campaign.
“This funding is very significant for the Labour Group. It will allow us to substantially enhance the health and safety outcomes in New Zealand workplaces and make a very important contribution to the Minister’s target of reducing workplace deaths and serious injuries by a quarter over the next eight years.”
Changes to your Quad Bike Newsletter
The Quad Bike Newsletter will now be delivered to your inbox on a quarterly basis. The newsletter will still contain the same tips, news, information and events as always. Watch out for your next edition in September. If you have any ideas on things you would like to see in the newsletter, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
We are keen to hear how the quad bike campaign is progressing in your area, so please keep us up to date on news and information. You can contact Hazel Penfold.
Read previous editions of Quad Bike Safety News.