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Spring Visits To 400 Farms To Check On Quad Bike Safety

MEDIA ReleaSE

6 SEPTEMBER 2011

Spring Visits To 400 Farms To Check On Quad Bike Safety

Around 400 farms across New Zealand can expect visits from health and safety inspectors during spring, to check on how quad bikes are being used on their farm.

The Department of Labour's next round of farm visits follows a successful phase from April to mid June this year, where 376 farms across the country were visited as part of the quad bike safety campaign.

Of those farms visited, 117 received written warnings or improvement notices - requiring them to take action to improve the way quad bikes were being used on their farm.

"From September to November we'll be back out talking to farmers in a bid to reduce the number of serious quad bike accidents on farms," says the Department's Deputy Chief Executive, Labour Group, Lesley Haines.

"The statistics say it all - on average 850 people are injured each year while riding quad bikes on farms and five die. We must bring this toll down."

"We're challenging unsafe behaviour on quad bikes - that means regularly getting out and ensuring farmers are taking the right safety steps.

The Department launched its quad bike safety campaign last year - it has four key safety steps:

* ensure riders are trained and experienced * always wear a helmet * never let kids ride adult quad bikes * choose the right vehicle for the job.

"Farms are workplaces and farmers must remember that they have a responsibility to ensure the health and safety of their staff," Ms Haines says.

"Where we find people working with quad bikes in a dangerous way we will take action. This can range from warnings or penalties, to stopping quad bikes being used until safety issues have been rectified.

"The Department will consider prosecution where a worker has been seriously injured or killed at work because key safety steps have not been taken," says Ms Haines.

ENDS

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