A fantastic new library of videos, tools and guides have just been released by WorkSafe Vic and I reckon they’re really worth a good look for everyone on farm.
Quad bikes are part of everyday life on most dairy farms but it’s a big mistake to take them for granted.
Some say it’s only operator error that gets people killed on quads. But everyone’s capable of being human.
Wayne and I pride ourselves on being safety conscious but over time, have almost squashed or necked ourselves just making simple mistakes.
Fast, powerful and agile, quads are incredibly practical machines that can kill precisely because they are fast, powerful and agile. We were lucky not to be hurt but, sometimes, luck just isn’t enough.
Zoe drives the David Brown
I used to mow and rake the hay with this tractor and the brakes were so hard to operate, I had to stand up to put all my teenage weight on them to get the David Brown to stop. Those were the days before Roll Over Protection Systems (ROPS), let alone cabins, on tractors.
Today’s tractors must have ROPS by law and most have cabs as standard. Thank God. My husband, Wayne, was unloading a B-Double truck of hay recently, when one of the huge rectangles (8x4x3) weighing just over 500kg fell off the front end loader tynes, bounced off the tractor where the windscreen meets the roof and came to rest perfectly balanced on the bonnet. Without the ROPS built into the cabin, he would almost certainly have been killed.
Even though we are much better protected these days, tractors and quad bikes cause almost all the deaths on Australian farms. The introduction of ROPS on tractors was really contentious back in the 1990s (was it that long ago?) and now, the introduction of Crush Protection Devices on quads is causing the same controversy today. The sooner we just put them on and get on with it, the more lives we’ll save.