Workplace Health and Safety Queensland is investigating proposed new regulations to improve the safety of people operating quad bikes and side-by-side vehicles (SSVs) in a workplace.
Quad bikes and SSVs are very useful in rural workplaces, and they’re an increasingly popular recreational and sporting vehicle. However, their widespread use is associated with a high number of injuries and fatalities. Queensland has a disproportionate share of the national statistics. About one in five quad bike incidents results in a head injury, and many of those injured were not wearing a helmet or had not been properly trained.
Because of these factors, a Queensland coronial inquest into nine deaths involving quad bikes between 2012 and 2014 recommended new regulations to improve quad bike and SSV safety.
Since the coronial inquest, several initiatives, safety awareness campaigns and legislative changes have been implemented in Queensland to influence rider behaviour and improve safety. These include changed road rules and the Ride Ready advertising campaign, which focused on training, helmets, and keeping kids off adult-sized bikes.
As part of the Queensland Government’s ongoing response to the inquiry and to support its commitment to improving safety in rural workplaces, WHSQ is investigating changes to existing work safety regulations, including mandating helmet use. Other proposed changes include banning children on adult quad bikes and SSVs, as well as passenger restrictions for some vehicles and seat belt requirements for SSVs (where they have been installed). The introduction of training requirements is also being investigated.
The private use of quad bikes and SSVs outside of a workplace is not being considered as part of the project.
All the proposed changes are contained in the Quad bikes and side-by-side vehicles safety—Proposed work health and safety regulations—Discussion paper. Written submissions are sought from all interested parties on the questions and issues identified in the paper.
The paper seeks feedback from industry and the general public on the proposed scope of the regulations and the practical impacts for individuals, businesses and the broader community. Feedback will guide the development of proposed safety regulations under the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011.
To take part, head to Quad bikes and side-by-side vehicles safety—Proposed work health and safety regulations. Consultation closes Friday, 17 June 2022. You can also make your submission by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.