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New Safety Laws for Quad Bikes

Connor Boccalatte
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10 July 2024

For decades, quad bikes have been the much-preferred workplace transport for farmers across Queensland due to their adaptability, ease of use, and low running costs.

However, it has been commonly known that quad bikes also pose significant risks if they’re not used correctly.

According to the 2023 Safer Farms Report, in 2022, 55 farmers lost their lives on farms, with 64% of these deaths attributed to farm vehicles or mobile farm machinery, including quad bikes. The link to the FarmSafe Website and annual Safer Farms Reports can be found here.

Further, WorkSafe QLD released a media statement outlining that: -

Data from Safe Work Australia shows that, between 2011 and 2023, 193 lives were lost in quad bike accidents in Australia. The highest proportion of these, some 55 fatalities (nearly 30 per cent), occurred in Queensland, and at least 22 of those Queensland fatalities were work-related.

A Queensland coronial inquest examined nine deaths caused by quad bikes between 2012-2014.

The link to WorkSafe QLD’s full media statement can be found here.

In addition to potential fatalities, quad bikes can also cause significant injuries to drivers and passengers. These injuries are quite often head injuries due to failure to wear a helmet.

Work Health and Safety (Quad Bikes) Amendment Regulation 2024

Following consideration of detailed injury and fatality statistics, the Queensland Government has introduced the Work Health and Safety (Quad Bikes) Amendment Regulation 2024 to improve quad bike safety in workplaces.

Here are the key points for workplaces that use quad bikes, such as farming:

  1. Age Restrictions: Quad bikes can only be operated by persons over 16 years old or the minimum age recommended by the manufacturer.
  1. Passenger Rules: Passengers must be at least 16 years old, or the minimum age recommended by the manufacturer.  This means that children are not allowed on adult-sized quad bikes and can only ride on age-appropriate quad bikes in workplaces.
  1. Helmets: All operators and passengers must wear crash helmets.  It should be noted that quad bike riders need ‘approved motorbike helmets’ (as defined under the Transport Operations (Road Use Management – Road Rules) Regulation 2009) only if quad bikes are used in places where separate existing legislation already requires approved motorbike helmets.

These changes only affect quad bike use in a workplace setting and does not impact recreational use.

No current impact on SSV requirements

WorkSafe QLD has confirmed that these changes do not impact side-by-side vehicles (SSVs)… quad bikes were identified as having a significantly higher risk profile than SSVs.

However, the QLD Government is currently monitoring the safe use of SSVs by providing practical guidance in the Rural Plant Code of Practice 2004, which is currently under review.

How we can help

The Compensation Team at Wallace & Wallace Lawyers are experienced in all aspects of Compensation Law. If you are dissatisfied with your current representation, our experts can also offer a second opinion.

If you, or someone you know has been injured in a quad bike accident, other motor vehicle accident, at work, or due to someone else’s fault, or you want a second opinion, call us now on (07) 4963 2000 or contact us via our online contact form for practical legal advice on how you should proceed. We can assist.