Side by Side Vehicles have become increasingly prominent in farming accidents across Australia.
SSVs are unquestionably a safer mode of transport than a quad bike, but there is a prominent reason why farmers, and farm workers, are being seriously injured or killed when operating these vehicles – the failure to wear seatbelts. Seatbelts are an engineering control.
There have been numerous incidents on farms involving SSVs which have resulted in operators and passengers being catapulted out of the vehicle or into the windscreens.
Farmers that fail to wear a seatbelt in an SSV also bypass a secondary safety device (engineering control) that is built into the vehicle – the speed limiter.
Eliminate the risk
Do not allow your working children to operate, or ride as a passenger, if they cannot fully brace themselves in the vehicle by supporting their feet firmly on the floor of the vehicle and reach the grab rails at the same time.
Make sure that working children always use seat belts and side nets.
Personal protective equipment
Always ensure that working children are provided with, and wear, appropriate helmets when operating SSVs.
A person cannot drive an SSV on a public road unless they hold a motor vehicle drivers licence, probationary license or learner’s certificate (and they are accompanied by a licensed passenger as they would be in a passenger vehicle).
There are also specific operating conditions that apply to the operation of quad bikes on roads that are published by VicRoads.