Should helmets be compulsory? | IMPAC health and safety

10 August, 2018  |  News

The Motor Industry Association has written to the Minister for Workplace Safety identifying several important interventions around ATVs (quad bikes) that they say would result in significantly less serious injuries and fatalities at work.

Statistics paint a bleak picture

According to WorkSafe statistics, 61 people have died in workplace quad bike accidents since 2006 and 563 people have been seriously injured since 2009.

Stuff article from this time last year reported that in the first half of 2017, three of the nine agricultural workplace-related deaths involved quad bikes.

It went on to report that injury statistics show 845 people are injured on quad bikes on farms each year. 190 of these people are seriously hurt and require significant time off work, and an average of five New Zealand farmers are killed in work-related accidents annually.


graphGraph taken from WorkSafe New Zealand.


Key interventions that the Motor Industry Association are calling on Minister Iain Lees-Galloway to mandate include helmets being compulsory for all riders, banning the use of full-size ATVs by children under the age of 16, and banning passengers from single seat ATVs.

David Crawford, Chief Executive Officer of the Motor Industry Association, says, “safe use of small vehicles on farms such as farm bikes, ATV (quad bikes) and side by side vehicles is of paramount importance to manufacturers, distributors, dealerships and their customers.”


WorkSafe guides

While we wait to see if any changes will come from the Motor Industry Association’s urging, WorkSafe have some excellent quad bike resources:

  • The safe use of quad bikes guide was created to help reduce the risk of injuries and fatalities by providing practical guidance on how to manage various quad bike hazards.
  • The safe use of quad bikes fact sheet reiterates the importance of training around quad bikes by sharing statistics, information about good practice, and a quad bike checklist.