WorkSafe New Zealand has announced it strongly recommends the use of crush protection devices (CPDs) on the back of quad bikes.

Crush protection devices can be fitted to a quad bike to provide a survivable space should a rider be pinned underneath it. Between January 2000 and October 2017, 81 people have been killed in quad bike accidents while at work and an average of five people die in work-related quad bike incidents every year.

“Data reveals that these accidents can happen on almost any part of the property – and to experienced and inexperienced riders. In many of the incidents the worker is crushed or unable to escape due to the weight of the bike, contributing to fatal or life-changing injuries,” said WorkSafe’s General Manager of Better Regulation and Legal Mike Hargreaves.

If you have no reasonable alternative to using a quad bike WorkSafe strongly recommend you get a professionally designed and manufactured CPD installed permanently.

In 2014, WorkSafe said fitting CPDs was a matter of personal choice. A subsequent review of research and the lack of improvement in incident numbers have prompted the regulator to revise that position.

“It’s our view that CPDs are likely to prevent serious and fatal injuries.

“It’s important that farmers and others don’t treat these as a fit and forget solution. The devices do not take the place of training, maintenance, protective gear, vehicle selection, or the careful use of quad bikes, but they can provide some protection in the event of rollover,” said Mr Hargreaves.

While the use of CPDs will not be enforced by the regulator at this time, discussions on the potentially life-saving devices will be taken up by WorkSafe staff when visiting farms and other workplaces across the country as a part of their assessments activity.

ACC is currently working with WorkSafe to design a targeted subsidy for the purchase of CPDs. The proposed subsidy is likely to be launched by the end of July 2019. 

For more information and to apply for the subsidy, see helping to buy crush protection devices for quad bikes at work(external link) on ACC's website.

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