After what seems like an eternity we now have movement in the regulation of safety of quad bikes. These bikes have been the number one cause of death or injury for sometime. Safe Work Australia reports that 152 people have died from incidents involving quad bikes since 2011, including 23 children. There have been 16 fatalities in 2020, that is double last year’s toll.
As a result of these alarming statistics there have been many studies to examine the safety of these bikes. The outcome of these studies seems to point at the requirement for increased stability as well as an operator protective device to keep the bike off the ground to help protect the rider in the event of a rollover. I have read the reports and concur with the findings. As a result Plant Assessor has mandated the fitting of an OPD for some time now. (The additional requirements outlined below will be built into our risk assessment process by the end of November)
Interestingly the suppliers of these bikes have argued consistently that operator protective devices would increase the risk to the rider and as such have steadfastly refused to take action. Unfortunately this has meant that serious injuries and fatalities have continued without any additional risk controls being implemented.
The law requires suppliers and users of plant to consider the risks associated with the use of the plant and for action to be taken to reduce the risks. That seems to not have happened to the degree that the law intended. Now the regulator has put the risk controls in black and white for suppliers and users of quad bikes.
Product Safety Australia have now published their requirements for quad bike safety. They are as follows:
From 11 October 2020, all new and imported second-hand quad bikes are required to:
meet the specified requirements of the US standard for quad bikes, ANSI/SVIA 1-2017, or the European standard for quad bikes, EN 15997:2011
have a rollover warning label affixed so that when the quad bike is used, it will be clearly visible and legible
provide information in the owner’s manual or information handbook on the risk of rollover
be tested for lateral static stability, and display the angle at which the quad bike tips on to two wheels on a hang tag at the point of sale.
This label will allow users to compare quad bikes’ stability before they make a purchase.
From October 2021, general use quad bikes are required to meet the minimum stability requirements of:
lateral roll stability — a minimum Tilt Table Ratio (TTR) of 0.55 (must not tip on to two wheels on a slope less than 28.81 degrees)
front and rear longitudinal pitch stability — a minimum TTR of 0.8 (must not tip on to two wheels on a slope less than 38.65 degrees
The quad bike must also be fitted with an operator protection device (OPD) or have one integrated into its design.
If a dealer has bikes in stock after October 2021 that do not meet these requirements they will not be able to sell them under Australian Consumer Law according to the ACCC.
More info can be found at the ACCC Product Safety Australia website.
If you would like further information please contact the friendly team at Plant Assessor anytime.