Rural Women NZ took part in a quad bike forum from 24/25 March called by WorkSafe New Zealand, to work through the 2013 recommendations of Coroner Brandt Shortland, following his joint inquests into five quad bike related deaths.
Others included in the forum include manufacturers, farming and community leaders and trainers. The focus was on making a commitment to action and working on how the Coroner’s recommendations can be implemented.
Coroner Shortland’s recommendations were:
- Quad bikes should not be referred to as ‘all-terrain vehicles’ as this is misleading;A helmet should be worn at all times
- Children should be prevented from riding adult quad bikes
- Comprehensive information and training is required in relation to hazard identification, maintenance checks, limitations and frailties of quad bikes, particularly when after-market attachments like spray units and trailers are attached;how to choose the right vehicle for the job and how correct tyre pressure and well maintained vehicles reduce risk, serious harm and fatalities;
- Consideration should be given to setting up a multi-disciplinary taskforce to specifically research and advise on roll over protection structures.
The forum also considered new health and safety legislation, based on the Australian Model Law, which will replace the Health & Safety in Employment Act. It will extend the duty of care to all people in the workplace, though the focus is on people conducting a business or undertaking (“PCBUs”). PCBUs will include company directors, managers and heads of department. Company officers, workers, volunteers and people employing others to do residential work are specifically excluded from being classified as PCBUs.
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