WorkSafe policy change for farm quad bikes

WorkSafe policy change for farm quad bikes

WorkSafe Victoria has amended it's position on safety requirements for quad bikes used in industrial or occupational settings, including on Victorian farms.

The organisation with responsibility for the administration of occupational health and safety policy in Victoria has previously required employers install'operator protective devices' (OPDs) on all quad bikes, citing the potential risk of serious injury and even death to drivers in the absence of such protection. This policy was fiercely opposed by five of the world's largest quad bike producers, who held the view that such devices actually increased the risk of injury to operators. Proceedings had been issued in the Supreme Court to determine the matter, but have subsequently resolved without the need for a hearing.

In light of the resolution of the matter, WorkSafe have also agreed to amend their formal policy position on the matter, which originally mandated the use of OPDs on all quad bikes operated in an occupational setting. The policy has now been changed to reflect the fact that WorkSafe consider the devices a suitable means to reduce (rollover) risk but are no longer mandatory safety requirements, meaning WorkSafe will not issue improvement notices if an employer does not have the devices installed.

If a person suffers injury as a result of the operation of a quad bike, their medical expenses and lost earnings may be covered by the Victoria WorkCover Authority if they were driving it as part of their ordinary work duties. Outside of the workplace environment, injuries from quad bike accidents on private land are specifically excluded from the Transport Accident Compensation (TAC) scheme, and any expenses would have to be met by the land owner and/or their public liability insurer.

Given the complexities of this area, it is always best to get accurate advice about your potential entitlements. We invite you to contact one of our expert personal injury lawyers on (03) 9321 9988 for further information.

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