Safety must be the foundation for Queensland farms

Safety must be the foundation for Queensland farms

OPINION
News
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Queensland farmers should be aware that phase two of the quad bike safety standard begins next month.

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Queensland farmers bear the important responsibility of ensuring they, their workers and other people on-farm are clear about their health and safety responsibilities and building a safety culture. It's a duty they take very seriously with the agriculture, forestry and fishing sector recording an average of six fatalities each year between 2015-16 to 2019-20. It was the third highest number of fatalities in Queensland over the same period compared to about 59 each year across all Queensland industries.

Quad bikes are one of the most common agents of fatality in Queensland, and have been involved in more than 50 fatalities across the state and a variety of industries since 2011. To help reduce the risk of fatality and injury associated with quad bikes, the Consumer Goods (Quad Bikes) Safety Standard 2019 was introduced by the federal government. Phase one of the national safety standard was implemented in October 2020 and required improved information for consumers including a rollover warning label and additional information in the operator's manual. Queensland farmers should be aware that phase two of the safety standard begins on October 11, 2021. This next stage requires all new and imported second-hand general use quad bikes to be fitted with an operator protection device or have one integrated into their design, and to meet minimum requirements for stability.

Furthermore, with mobile plant and transport accounting for about 15 per cent of injuries in the Queensland agriculture sector, the Queensland Farmers' Federation, the Telescopic Handler Association, Safe Ag Systems and Holding Redlich with support from the Queensland government, have released a new safety resource for farmers using telehandlers on their properties. The Telehandler Safety Book aims to increase awareness of their machinery's operation and prevent accidents while in use to promote and advance safe farms across the state.

QFF encourages farmers to be aware of their requirements under phase two of the quad bike national safety standard and other regulations to ensure the health and safety of themselves, their employees, and visitors. It is imperative that we see safety as the foundation that all our other business decisions are made from rather than optional so we can turn these statistics around.

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