'It just changes the whole game': Farmers react to ACC quad bike safety subsidies

A move by ACC to subsidise the installation crush protection devices (CPD) on quad bikes is already changes farmers' attitudes, according to one manufacturer.

In an announcement at the Fieldays at Mystery Creek, near Hamilton, ACC said it would subsidise farmers to purchase CPDs, in an effort to reduce serious injuries and fatalities.

Under the scheme, any purchase of the two WorkSafe recommended CPDs will be eligible for the subsidy of $180 per unit, representing a discount of 15-30 percent, depending on what product is chosen.

The subsidy is for self-employed and small to medium businesses in targeted sub-sectors at the highest injury rate, which includes beef, sheep and dairy farming.

Quadbar is one of the recommended manufacturers under the subsidy scheme.
Quadbar is one of the recommended manufacturers under the subsidy scheme. Photo credit: Supplied

Quadbar Industries is one of the two Worksafe recommended manufacturers, and owner Stuart Davidson said the move has already seen a change from farmers he spoke to at his Fieldays stand, just hours after the announcement.

"Usually you come to shows like this and it's the same old same old, but now farmers are thinking about it, and it just makes all the difference to them because they can afford it," he said.

He said farmers were just finding out about the subsidy.

"When I mention it to them it just changes the whole game," said Davidson.

He also believed it sent a positive message to farmers.

"I think it means to them that ACC is taking notice of them."

Davidson said the move followed a similar scheme in Australia which, he said, "worked a treat".

"Farmers are notorious at just ignoring everything and the gung-ho approach, the she'll be right attitude, but they have to do it."

The subsidy announcement follows a change in position from Worksafe on CPDs. It says it now strongly recommends they be used.

A Wellington coroner recently called for safety features to be made mandatory on quad bikes, and for the rural sector to look at how the issue is being dealt with in Australia.

Find out more about the ACC subsidies here.