VICTORIAN farmers are still rushing to collect a rebate that enables them to fit operation protection devices (OPDs) to their quad bikes, as Farm Safety Week again drives home the message that a safe workplace is the foundation to creating a resilient, safe and healthy agriculture community.
The Victorian Farmers Federation has administered the $6 million State Government funded Quad Bike Safety Rebate Scheme since October last year, so far approving more than 2,200 applications totalling nearly $2 million.
“We’re excited at the response we’ve had to the scheme and hope people keep calling to take advantage of this fantastic rebate offer,” VFF Vice President Brett Hosking said.
“Right now we’re processing about 50 applications a week.”
According to WorkSafe Victoria statistics, almost 30 per cent of workplace deaths in Victoria occur on farms, despite a mere three per cent of workers being employed in the agriculture industry.
“It’s incredibly serious and this program encourages farmers to take proactive steps in safeguarding against the risks of injury while using quad bikes,” Mr Hosking said.
“For every application we process, there’s one more quad bike being fitted with safety gear to protect a farmer from the risk of rollovers, and the enthusiastic response we’ve had to the program shows that farmers right across Victoria are dedicated to ensuring they run a safe operation.
“A safe farm increases farm productivity.”
The scheme is expected to deliver rebates to more than 5000 farmers over the next two years.
“Many farmers are running a family business with their children and we need to remember that too many quad related injuries and deaths involve children and anyone under 16 should not be operating a quad bike.”
Farmers can tap into the VFF’s www.bequadsafe.com.au website to claim up to $1200 (GST exempt) in rebates on OPDs, side-by-side (SSV) and other alternate vehicles.
Source: VFF. Further details on farmer eligibility for the scheme can be found at www.bequadsafe.com.au or by calling the VFF on 1300 945 030 for an application.