13 June 2018
Kids and quads a lethal combination
Small farming company Greystone Holdings Limited was sentenced today in Wellington District Court after an incident that occurred in July 2016, when a six year old was visiting the 60 acre farm owned by his grandparents during school holidays.
The victim was riding on the back of a quad doing tasks on the farm, when he fell from the quad and was run over by equipment being towed behind it. The quad was being driven by the boy’s uncle who was employed on the property. The victim was taken to hospital by helicopter and had suffered a fracture to his left leg that required multiple surgeries.
WorkSafe Deputy General Manager, Investigations and Specialist Services, Simon Humphries says that whether you own a small holding or a high country station, kids do not belong on adult sized quad bikes, as riders or passengers.
“It might look like fun and a way to keep the kids amused but the risk of death or injury needs to outweigh the entertainment factor. There is little contest between a quad and a child. These are heavy and powerful machines that require the rider’s full attention. A child does not have the physical strength or risk recognition to be an independent passenger, especially on a vehicle that is not designed for carrying extra people.”
WorkSafe’s investigation found that while Greystone was aware of the dangers associated with quad bikes, they still allowed children to ride on the quad on occasion. It also found that Greystone should have directed its workers that only one person was to ride the quad at a time and that children were not to be carried as passengers.
“The dangers associated with quads are very well known. There is considerable guidance available that clearly states that children should not ride on quads. This was a lucky escape and a reminder to other farm owners, especially families on farms, to think about how their kids are interacting with the farm business and how they can be sure to keep them safe”.
WorkSafe has extensive guidance on the use of quad bikes available here.
The latest estimate for failure to adequately address safety concerns globally has been put at 3.9% of the global GDP. In dollar terms that is US$2.99 Trillion.