A former quad bike safety research engineer blames WorkSafe for the high rate of fatalities caused by all terrain vehicles saying it is guilty of “corporate manslaughter” by not setting guidelines for the manufacture of rollover frames. In 2020 there were seven fatalities, the second-worst year for workplace quad bike deaths since 2006, only topped by 2015 with nine fatalities. ACC says quad bike users cost taxpayers more than $18 million a year and launched a $180 cash-back programme to encourage farmers to fit certain crush protection devices. WorkSafe recommends devices should be fitted, but, unlike Australia has not made them mandatory. Australian reports claim there have been no recorded fatalities on quads fitted with frames, and Graham Garden believes here in NZ WorkSafe’s apparent lack of action has resulted in 39 fatalities and 360 serious injuries in the past 22 years. He says such behaviour by organisations would not be tolerated in other workplaces and so they should be charged with criminal negligence or corporate manslaughter.
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