OPD could have saved farmer's life in quad rollover

OPD could have saved farmer's life in quad rollover

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A Coroner's report has found that installing an operator protection device and wearing a helmet would have saved the life of a Macedon Ranges farmer.

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A Victorian Coroner's report recently found that simply installing an operator protection device (OPD) and wearing a helmet would have saved the life of a Macedon Ranges farmer who died in a rollover accident in 2017.

After the 69-year-old farmer was crushed and died from a quad bike rollover on his farm, a forensic engineer carefully investigated the accident and cause of death.

The expert concluded that if the quad bike had been fitted with an OPD it likely would not have crushed the farmer, and that wearing a helmet would have dramatically increased his chances of surviving the accident.

The ACCC found in their quad bike safety investigation that quad bike accidents result in an average of 16 deaths in Australia each year and six people a day attending the emergency department.

It is infuriating that a simple device that saves lives isn't yet mandatory on all quad bikes.

The Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) is part of a national coalition calling for the Australian government to implement the ACCC's recommendations to improve quad bike safety, including making OPDs mandatory on all bikes.

But you don't have to wait for the government to make OPDs mandatory. You can improve your safety and the safety of your employees, family members and visitors immediately.

The VFF is offering a rebate for all Victorian farmers of $600 for one OPD or $1200 for two OPDs.

Alternatively, if you want to remove the risk of quad bikes on your farm entirely, you can use the $1200 rebate to buy a safer farm vehicle.

To apply for the rebate, call the VFF on 1300 882 833 or visit www.vff.org.au/quadbike to apply for the rebate immediately.

- David Jochinke, VFF president

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