Health and safety officials alarmed by farmers' reaction to quad bike crush protection devices

Health and safety officials are alarmed at the backlash from some farmers who don't want crush protection devices on quad bikes.

It comes just days after a subsidy was introduced to make the devices more affordable.

Stuart Davidson knows the risks all too well - a quad bike accident almost cost him his life.

"I'm lucky to be standing here," he told Newshub. "A spinal injury affects many parts of your body so you live with that for the rest of your days and I wouldn't wish that on anybody."

Davidson sells the Quad Bar, one of two approved devices aimed at protecting riders from being crushed. The other is the Life Guard.

ACC is making them cheaper for farmers in the hope more people will get them installed.

In the last ten years, 51 people have been killed in quad bike accidents and 615 people have been injured.

Worksafe is keen to see an end to the 'she'll be right attitude' and has recently clarified its policy - strongly recommending they be installed on all farm quad bikes.

"Our belief is if you have a crush protection device fitted, the likelihood of being killed in once of those incidents is far far less," says WorkSafe director of strategic engagement and implementation, Paula Knaap.

But farmers at Fieldays on Saturday weren't so convinced. Some farmers and the quad bike industry think the devices could instead add to the danger. But WorkSafe doesn't agree.

'It's like using a seat belt," Knaap says. "Those can potentially cause injury but at the end of the day the potential to save lives far outweighs the risks."

The ACC subsidy is for self-employed and small-to-medium businesses. It means they'll get $180 off the device and it will be available for the next 12 months.

Davidson just wants farmers to listen.

"I think time's up," he says. "I think they need to do it."

A simple message from a man who doesn't want anyone else to suffer like he has.