New innovations designed to help reduce Australia’s quad bike injury and death toll are an important step towards giving farmers a choice in how they protect themselves, according to the Primary Industries Health and Safety Partnership.
A number of new designs were showcased at the 2017 National Quad Bike Safety Forum.
One example is a fully certified ATV and ROV helmet – the ‘Shark X-16’ – that was created as part of an ATV manufacturer’s initiative that included surveying farmers from around Australia to understand why they avoided helmets when using quad bikes.
Yamaha Motor Australia’s Lance Turnley said the surveys highlighted common themes.
“The most common answers we got were it was too hot, too heavy, the buckle was too cumbersome and they couldn’t hear properly when they were mustering,” Mr Turnley said.
“So we’ve created a helmet made of fibreglass that weighs less than 1200 grams, with six holes in the top to allow good ventilation, and an easy release buckle.”
Beef Central profiled the new helmet in this earlier article.
Chairman of the Primary Industries Health and Safety Partnership, Patrick Murphy, said innovative research and developments in the quad bike space are welcome additions to the safety landscape.
“The recent Australian Farm Deaths and Injuries Media Monitors Snapshot produced by the Australian Centre for Agricultural Health and Safety found there had been six on-farm and one off-farm quad bike related deaths reported nationally just between January and March of this year,” Mr Murphy said.
“The Primary Industries Health and Safety Partnership welcomes innovative advances in this space and is keen to work with industry to support behaviour change and better understanding around safety options.”
The goal of the Partnership is to improve the health and safety of workers and their families in farming industries across Australia. It is funded by the Cotton, Grains and Rural Industries Research and Development Corporations, as well as the Australian Meat Processor Corporation and Meat & Livestock Australia.
The ‘Point Two Air Vest’ – a rider safety device that inflates when a rider is thrown from their bike – is also being marketed as a safety option for quad bike riders.
Spokesman Kelvin Fredericks said the safety vest has a lanyard secured to the bike that is then clipped to the rider, and in the event of a fall, the jacket triggers to inflate in just 0.08 of a second.
“Three litres of CO2 fills the jacket immediately at the point of triggering and it grabs the rider, providing protection around their neck, upper body and thorax,” Mr Fredericks said.
“The jackets are currently used by Quad Bike Border Patrol officers in America, as well as mounted police operations around Australia.
“We think there’s huge potential for them to be used by quad bike riders in Australia also.”
To view the innovations, watch the video here: http://bit.ly/2ryU6MA
For more information about the partnership, visit www.rirdc.gov.au/PIHSP
Source: The Primary Industries Health and Safety Partnership. The PIHSP is funded by the Australian Meat Processor Corporation (AMPC), Cotton Research & Development Corporation (CRDC), Grains Research & Development Corporation (GRDC), Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) and Rural Industries Research & Development Corporation (RIRDC). The PIHSP aims to drive sustainable improvements to work health and safety outcomes in agriculture, forestry and fishing through investment in RD&E.