A new tool for the Farm

Today Bella and I are going to pick up a used Quad Bike in Maroochydore. Ironic that Bella is doing the road trip with me as she is very concerned about us having a Quad Bike on the farm. Fair Call Bella.

The subject of this blog expresses how I feel about them. Quad Bikes are often used as toys (not tools)–especially by children. Tools and toys can be dangerous; however, I believe when you treat things as tools (not toys) and apply common sense, you mitigate allot of the risks.

So why do we need a Quad Bike tool on the farm all of a sudden? A long and winding story but the short version is we can no longer access the back half of our farm other then by foot. Our bee hives are located at the Top of a ridge on the “back back” and if we want to keep producing honey we need a metal horse (Quad Bike) and trailer to take care of our bees and harvest their honey. In addition, we also need vehicle access for maintaining fences and managing livestock.

Our girls have all operated and ridden on Quad Bikes. Alison has a little bit of experience. To help Bella overcome her well founded concerns I am putting together videos and safety tips for the safe operation of a Quad Bike on a farm.

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland www.worksafe.qld.gov.au

Quad bikes can be deadly for children, teenagers and adults when used incorrectly. Rider inexperience and not wearing helmets have contributed to serious incidents. Discuss quad bike safety with your parents, your employer and other riders to survive the ride. Survive the ride Quad bike safety for young workers Protect yourself…
• Wear a properly fitting helmet—it’s the best protection you have against a head injury.
• Wear eye protection, gloves, sturdy footwear and clothing that covers arms and legs. Think before you act…
• Stick to tracks and paths that you know. Recognise creeks and gullies and steep areas that are dangerous to ride in, and keep out of these no-go zones.
• Look out for rough or uneven ground, especially after rain or flooding. Adopt a ‘safety-first’ attitude…
• Reduce your speed, especially if you are on rough or uneven ground that might cause you to lose control.
• If you’re not confident that you can do the job, speak up and ask for help. • Do not be tempted to carry passengers if the bike is not designed for it—how would you feel if your mate fell off your bike and was seriously injured?
• Make sure someone knows where you’re going and when you’ll be back. • Riding after using drugs or drinking alcohol is not a good move. Only carry what you need to…
• Leave attachments behind that you don’t need. Towing attachments adds to the overall weight and instability of the bike.
• Take extra care when carrying liquid loads as the weight will shift when turning corners or crossing slopes making the bike unstable. Get ahead of the pack…
• Ask your parents or employer about quad bike training to improve your riding skills in all situations. Safetytips Parents and employers – you have a responsibility to keep young riders safe. Each year thousands of Queenslanders begin working for the first time, and young people are much more at risk of injury than experienced workers.
• Make sure young people under 16 don’t use an adult quad bike.
• Define areas on the property that are no-go zones for quad bikes.
• Restrict access to quad bikes for trained riders only.
• Make sure your workers and family are properly trained and can confidently ride safely and responsibly.
• Decide whether a quad bike is the right tool for the job.
• Maintain bikes for safe operation (e.g. check tyre pressure and brakes).
• Ensure riders use appropriate personal protective equipment, including a helmet.
• If it’s suitable, consider adding a crush protection device.

For more tips on being farm safe: • visit www.worksafe.qld.gov.au • call the WHS Infoline on 1300 369 915. Farm safe. Home safe.

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