Regional and rural insurer launches campaign to improve quad bike safety

To help reduce the incidence of deaths and injuries occurring on Australian farms, Elders Insurance today launched a new campaign to improve quad bike safety and raise awareness of the importance of operating these vehicles correctly. 
According to a 2013 Safe Work Australia* report, incidents involving vehicles accounted for 71% of fatalities on farms over the eight years from 1 July 2003 to 30 June 2011.
 
With incorrect use a key contributor to quad bike accidents, Elders Insurance is making available a short, online video training series on a dedicated safety portal, farmsafetyfirst.com.au, aimed at providing practical knowledge about how to operate a quad bike safely. 
 
Launching the campaign, Elders Insurance General Manager Jon Fox said: “We’re encouraging everyone who lives or works on a farm in Australia and who has access to a quad bike or All Terrain Vehicle to undertake our online training. It’s straightforward and will only take 10-15 minutes but the knowledge and awareness you will gain about how important safety is when operating these vehicles could save your life or that of a loved one.” 

“We know that our training is not a complete solution, however, we want to do what we can to help reduce the occurrence of these devastating accidents on farms, many of which are caused by incorrect use of vehicles. 
Polaris ATV
“Our message is simple and clear: be better informed, be aware of how you’re using quad bikes and whether they are appropriate for your farming activities, and importantly, be safe.” 
 
As an added incentive to encourage take-up of the training, anyone who completes the modules and short assessment is eligible to go in the running to win a Sportsman ACE, a revolutionary vehicle fitted standard with a rollover protection structure (ROPS). The Sportsman ACE was released in January this year by the leading manufacturer of off-road vehicles, Polaris. The machine is valued at $9,995.00. 
Mr Fox said there was considerable research and development into off-road vehicles and safety, particularly quad bikes, and he commended the work being done. 
 "Incidents involving vehicles accounted for 71% of fatalities on farms over the eight years from 1 July 2003 to 30 June 2011."
“As a regional insurer we understand that quad bikes are, and will continue to be, used. What we’re doing is simply providing some easily accessible information that we hope will raise awareness, and that can help farmers, their families and workers, right now, to be safe if they are using these vehicles.” 
 
Also teaming up with Elders Insurance for this campaign is quad bike and motorcycle training provider Top Rider. A national Registered Training Organisation, Top Rider has worked with Elders Insurance to produce the online video training series. 
 
The safety campaign will include the screening of some farm safety community service messages on rural and regional TV across Australia. 
 
Further Information: To undertake the training, please visit: farmsafetyfirst.com.au 
 
Safety suggestions for improved quad bike safety:
  • Use the quad bike strictly according to the manufacturer’s instructions. 
  • Leave all safety guards in place. 
  • If your vehicle needs accessories, make sure to use the manufacturer’s equipment or their recommendations and have them fitted properly. 
  • Strictly observe the load ratings. 
  • Keep the vehicle in good mechanical repair and perform regular safety checks. 
  • Avoid travelling up or down steep inclines. 
  • Don’t ride in terrain beyond your riding ability. 
  • Complete training in the correct use of off-road vehicles. 
* Work-related Injuries and Fatalities on Australian Farms, Safe Work Australia, March 2013. 
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